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European Court of Human Rights: Italy condemned in the Lombardo and Cirillo cases

On January 29 2013, the Second Section of the European Court of Human Rights issued two judgments against Italy in the cases Lombardo v. Italy (application no. 25704/11) and Cirillo v. Italy (application no. 36276/10).

With regard to the Lombardo case, the Court established that there had been a violation of Article 8 ECHR (right to respect for private and family life) to the extent that the Italian Government failed to guarantee with effective tools the applicant’s right of contact with his daughter, despite the existence of numerous judicial proceedings aimed at recognizing the right at regular visits. Having established that the inaction and the delays of national authorities in ensuring the applicant’s rights had violated his right of family life, the Court held that Italy was to pay the applicant a total of 15,000 euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage and additional 10,000 euros in respect of costs and expenses.

In the case of Cirillo, Italy is found responsible for violating Article 3 ECHR (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) in relation to the lack of adequate medical treatment to the precarious state of health of a prisoner suffering from partial paralysis of the left arm. In particular, examining the case’s circumstances, the Court specifies that the high number of requests received by health care administration or the overcrowding of the Foggia’s prison, cannot under any circumstances justify the sporadic and inconsistent access to adequate medical treatment. The failure of Italy to ensure to the applicant the appropriate treatment to his condition thus constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment. In addition to court fees, Italy will have to pay compensation for non-pecuniary damage a total of 10,000 euros.

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