Judgment concerning the Czech Republic

Roof f the Human Rights building

In the case of Z v. the Czech Republic the Court held that there had been a violation of the right to prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment and of the right to respect for private life.

In this case, the applicant complained that she had been subjected to non-consensual sexual acts by a priest. More specifically, she complained of the authorities’ restrictive interpretation of the constituent elements of the offences of rape and sexual abuse under Criminal Code then in force, of the fact that this legal framework had not been sufficient to ensure effective punishment for the sexual offences allegedly perpetrated against her and of the lack of an effective investigation.

The Court found that the authorities’ approach had been incapable of affording the applicant adequate protection and considered that the Czech State had failed to fulfil its positive obligations, which had required the effective application of a criminal-law system capable of punishing the non-consensual sexual relations alleged by the applicant.

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