Human Rights Breach

  1. definition
  2. examples and/or illustrations
  3. other useful sources
  4. bibliography
  5. case law


Human Rights:

  1. A right which is believed to belong to every person

Oxford Dictionaries, http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/human%2Bright?q=human+right (accessed on March 23, 2012).

1. Fundamental rights, especially those believed to belong to an individual and in whose exercise a government may not interfere, as the rights to speak, associate, work, etc.

2. The rights of individuals to liberty, justice, etc

3. Freedom from arbitrary interference or restriction by governments. The term encompasses largely the same rights called civil liberties or civil rights but often suggests rights that have not been recognized.

Dictionary.com, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/human+rights?s=t (accessed on March 23, 2012)

Basic rights that fundamentally and inherently belong to each individual.

The Free Dictionary, http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Human+rights+violation (accessed on April 27, 2012).


1. the act or a result of breaking; break or rupture.
2. an infraction or violation, as of a law, trust, faith, or promise.

Synonyms: Fracture, Infraction, Violation, Transgression.

Breach is used infrequently in reference to laws or rules, more often in connection with desirable conditions or states of affairs: a breach of the peace, of good manners, of courtesy.

Dictionary.com, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/breach?fromAsk=true&o=100074 (accessed on April 27, 2012).

Synonyms : Human Rights Violation

French translation: Violation des droits humains


Examples and/or Illustrations

Used in a sentence:

“Nowadays, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg regularly finds nations in breach of their obligations under the international human rights law of the European Human Rights Convention.”

Janis, Mark W., Kay, Richard S. and Anthony Wilfred Bradley, European Human Rights Law: Text and Materials, Oxford University Press, 2008, Preface.

“Reconciling such individual rights with the needs and interests of the community at large in situations falling short of a public emergency crisis is further facilitated by “limitations clauses” that permit, even in ordinary times, a breach of an obligation imposed by the convention for specified reasons such as public order, public safety, morals, or national security.”

Gross, Oren, “Once More unto the Breach: The Systemic Failure of Applying the European Convention on Human Rights to Entrenched Emergencies”(1998), 23 Yale J. Int’l L. 437.

“The legal basis for state responsibility for violations of human rights derives from breach of a human rights treaty or a human rights norm of customary international law. Most human rights treaties impose a duty on states parties to respect and ensure the rights recognized, a formulation that imposed a due diligence obligation to respond to violations committed by private persons as well as to abstain from state-authored violations.”

Shelton, Dinah, Remedies in International Human Rights Law, Oxford University Press, 2001, 47. 

“In clear breach of its international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran is one of very few countries in the world that still applies the death penalty for crimes committed before the age of 18.”

United Kingdom: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Human Rights Annual Report 2007 – Iran, March 2008.


Other Useful Sources

About Equal Opportunities, Breach of Human Rights, http://www.aboutequalopportunities.co.uk/breach-of-human-rights.html (Accessed on April 30, 2012).

Council of Europe, Human Rights Europe, Judges find Czech Roma human rights breach, http://www.humanrightseurope.org/2012/02/judges-find-czech-roma-human-rights-breach/ (accessed on April 30, 2012).



Freeman, Michael, Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Polity, 2011.

Shelton, Dinah, Remedies in International Human Rights Law, Oxford University Press, 2001.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR Manual on Refugee Protection and the European Convention on Human Rights (April 2003, Updated August 2006), August 2006, available at: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3f4cd5c74.html (accessed 2 May 2012).

United Kingdom: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Human Rights Annual Report 2007 – Iran, March 2008.


Other related words (may be concepts):

  • Human Rights
  • Human Rights Violations


Case Law


  • D. v. United Kingdom, Judgement of 2 May 1997, Appl. No. 30240/96

“Although it cannot be said that the conditions which would confront him in the receiving country are themselves a breach of the standards of Article 3, his removal would expose him to a real risk of dying under the most distressing circumstances and would thus amount to inhuman treatment.” (para. 53)

  • Selmouni v. France, Judgement of 28 July 1999, Appl. No. 25803/94

“the increasingly high standard being required in the area of the protection of human rights and fundamental liberties correspondingly and inevitably requires greater firmness in assessing breaches of the fundamental values of democratic societies.” (para. 101)

  • Soering v. United Kingdom, Judgement of 7 July 1989, Appl. No. 14038/88, Series A, No. 161.

“In sum, the decision by a Contracting State to extradite a fugitive may give rise to an issue under Article 3, and hence engage the responsibility of that State under the Convention, where substantial grounds have been shown for believing that the person concerned, if extradited, faces a real risk of being subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the requesting country.” (para. 91)