Abstract: Although irreducible life sentences are prohibited, some member states of the Council of Europe provide for sentences that de facto are irreducible. We must reflect upon the legitimacy of such sentences. After an analysis of the most recent case-law of the European Court of Human Rights on life imprisonment, signified by a recent pronouncement against the United Kingdom, the debate will shift to the case of Italy. The screening of the powerful film-documentary, Spes contra Spem, will shed light to the Italian ergastolo ostativo: a particular type life imprisonment only applicable to those who have been convicted for serious crimes related to the Mafia or Terrorism.

Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque has been Judge of the European Court of Human Rights since 2011. Between 1992 and 2004 he sat on the bench of different courts in Portugal. Since 2015, he is Professor Catedrático at the Law Faculty of the Catholic University of Lisbon, where he teaches Criminal Law and Procedure, Penitentiary Law, Public International Law, International Law of Human Rights and Philosophy of Law. He has published widely in these fields of law. He has been Visiting Professor in the USA and China and addressed audiences in Angola, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Guiné, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United States and United Kingdom. He has worked as an expert  for the Council of Europe and the European Commission of the European Union. He is currently member of several international law associations.

Elisabetta Zamparutti is the current Italian member at the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) of the Council of Europe. She has been Member of Parliament between 2008 and 2013. Through her work in the NGO Hands Off Cain and within the Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty she has strongly fought against torture and inhumane and degrading punishments. Significantly, in 2007, her activism for the abolition of the death penalty culminated in the approval of the Moratorium on the use of the death penalty at the UN General Assembly.

Panel Discussant: Liora Lazarus

Drinks reception to follow in the English Faculty Foyer.

Please RSVP here to reserve a place. Seating limited.

Please Note: The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights is holding an event (as part of their Conversation Series) featuring Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque, which will take place on the same day between 1-2.30pm at Mansfield College Lecture Theatre. A sandwich lunch will be provided in the Old Hall (Mansfield College) from 12.30pm.