Published: 1 Dec 2005 | By Marthe Lot Vermeulen

Evidence revisited: a case for freedom from torture claims in ‘disappearance’ cases


A ‘disappearance’ begins when a person is detained by State agents, yet their whereabouts are concealed and their custody is denied by the authorities. In addition, the ‘disappeared’ is under the total control of the authorities, vulnerable to torture. At the same time, due to the secrecy, this human rights violation is one of the most complex since direct evidence of what has happened is unlikely to be obtained.

In this article, Marthe Lot Vermeulen compares the approach of the ECtHR and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to disappearance cases, concluding that the ECtHR must follow the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ in shifting the burden of proof in such cases. To read the full article, click on the link below.