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   Case summaries      Makaratzis v Greece 50385/99


Makaratzis v Greece 50385/99 [2004] ECHR 694 European Court of Human Rights  - Grand Chamber

The applicant drove through a red light and the police tried to stop him. Rather than stopping, the applicant sped up and the police continued to pursue him. The applicant was then involved in two collisions and broke through five police roadblocks. A number of police officers joined the pursuit and eventually started shooting at the applicant. Eventually the applicant stopped at a petrol station, the officers continued to shoot. The applicant was shot in the foot, arm, buttock and chest. He required hospitalisation for nine days and his mental health deteriorated. The applicant submitted that the police used excessive firepower against him putting his life in danger and the authorities failed to carry out an adequate and effective investigation.


Violation of Art 2 

Art 2 is applicable notwithstanding the applicant was not in fact deprived of his life. Art 2 confers a positive duty on the state to put in place adequate legislative and administrative framework. The Greek authorities had not done all that could be reasonably expected of them to afford citizens the level of safeguards required to avoid real and immediate risk to life. The police chase and use of firearms was conducted in a chaotic and unregulated manner with no chain of command. A large number of police officers were involved in a largely uncontrolled chase and use of firearms was erratic.


Back to lecture outline on Art 2 ECHR