Article 2 [of the European Convention of Human Rights], which safeguards the right to life and sets out the circumstances when deprivation of life may be justified, ranks as one of the most fundamental provisions in the Convention, to which no derogation is permitted. Together with Article 3 [the prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment], it also enshrines one of the basic values of the democratic societies making up the Council of Europe.”
Indeed, notwithstanding the notion that all human rights are equally important for a dignified human existence, it is evident that none of the other rights could be applied if the right to life was violated. The Court puts the right not to be subjected to torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which constitutes an absolute right, on an equal footing with the right to life, as it enshrines the fundamental notion of the inviolability of human dignity. Both rights raise a number of complex legal and moral questions, which illustrate the dilemmas often faced by those who are called to adjudicate on them.