ECHR’s Grand Chamber Says Life Sentence Without Review Inhuman

The European Court of Human Rights said that the U.K. life sentences for three convicted murderers constitutes inhumane or degrading treatment because there is no hope of release.

The Strasbourg, France-based court said a possible review of the life sentences must be offered to Douglas Vinter, Jeremy Bamber and Peter Moore, who were all convicted of murder.

“Whole life orders should include the possibility of review but this should not be understood as giving the prospect of imminent release,” the Grand Chamber of the ECHR, which hears appeals from the main court, said in a statement on today’s ruling.

The ECHR had previously dismissed the three men’s appeals last year on grounds that the murders were “particularly brutal and callous.” This followed a similar ruling from the U.K.’s High Court in 2009.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gaspard Sebag in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at

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