Sample Paper on Learning Log


Learning log

1- Explain your understanding of right to life legal concept and what the different duties of the state are.

Every individual has unalienable right to life which is non-derogatory and absolute. The right to life, in as much as there are laws to protect it, there are exclusion clauses on when this right can be limited for example, during execution for a death sentence. The ICHR places duty on the state to protect lives of its citizens. This protection may involve provision of police protection where there is merit. The duty of state involves carrying out investigations where a threat to a life is and administering punishment as deterrence.

  1. Were the Osmans entitled to police protection considering the circumstances?

Every individual has an inherent right to life and with a right comes a duty. The state has a duty to protect life where there is foreseeable danger. The state needs to take immediate action beyond mere obligation by investigating and punishing those involved. ICPR and ECHR make it mandatory for party states to protect right to life. Whereas legislation only may not be sufficient, the states must protect life. The Osman case was a perfect example where the state was reluctant to take action despite having existed visible signs that Paget –Lewis was a threat.

  1. Were the police obliged to protect the Osmans, especially in light of their other obligations?

The government’s duty to protect life is also clearly stated in Article 6(1) of ICCPR among other Conventions to which the state is party. Article 2 of ECHR also states that deprivation of an individual s life is not a violation of human rights if use of excessive force is used.  This is useful where a stat has obligations like that of effecting arrest. It should be noted that whereas individuals have a right to life, the right is not absolute and that is why the law states clearly the circumstances that warrant this. It is everyone’s right to be protected by the law and to Osman family ought to have been given adequate protection from a foreseeable danger. Under article 3 of the UDHR, every individual has a right to life, liberty and provided with security. Osman had the right to be provided with security to prevent the imminent danger that faced him.

  1. What more could the police have done?

Following the events as reported by the Osmans’ to the police that they ought to have provided protection as a matter of necessity and precaution. A psychiatrist had assessed Paget-Lewis and the psychiatrist had enough doubts as to his unstable condition. Further evidence shows that the teacher had changed his name via deed poll to Osman. The name Paget- Lewis was similarly adapted in a similar suspicious manner.  A student had equally reported seeing Paget in a mast. Paget had also threatened the student. These events made police protection an entitlement of the Osman family. The numerous incidences reported should have been taken seriously by policed based on the past history of the teacher.

The police could equally have decided to arrest Paget for other reported incidents. The accident that Paget was suspected to have caused should have been reason enough for the police to take action. The complacent nature of the police is worrying.

The court however observed that the Osmans ought to have pointed out events that led to the shooting for the police to be held liable. That there was no evidence adduced to show that the lives of the Osmans were in danger. It is a fact though that Paget remained innocent until proven guilty and therefore arresting him at the time might not have led to a conviction. For all the above, there has to be evidence adduced before the court to show that police were responsible which the Osmans did not despite the fact that indeed there was evidence.

  1. Is there a violation of Article 2?

There was adequate evident on the violent nature of Paget and therefore it was foreseeable was he was capable of. The court’s decision on Article 2 was that the police had failed to provide protection to the mother satisfying provisions of Article 2. This was a violation of human rights. It is the right of every individual to be protected and I think the police violated article 2 by not protecting the Osmans as the law provides.