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   Case summaries      Oneryildiz v Turkey 48939/99

Oneryildiz v Turkey 48939/99 [2004] ECHR 657  European Court of Human Rights - Grand Chamber

Thirty nine people died in a methane explosion at a rubbish tip. Those that died lived in a slum area that had been built without authorisation adjacent to the rubbish tip. The ECHR held that Art 2 lays down a positive obligation on states to take appropriate steps to safeguard the lives of those within their jurisdiction and that this obligation includes any activity where the right to life may be at stake including industrial activities which are by their very nature are dangerous such as the waste collection sites. The positive obligation under Art 2 imposes a primary duty on the state to put in place a legislative and administrative framework designed to provide effective deterrence against threats to the right to life.


There was a violation of Art 2

The Turkish authorities knew or ought to have known there was a real and immediate risk to life of persons living near the rubbish tip. Consequently they had a positive obligation under Art 2 to take preventative operational measures as were necessary and sufficient to protect life. Particularly as they had set up the site and authorised its operation.

Back to lecture outline on Art 2 ECHR