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  • Writer's pictureRobert Spicer

Human rights and prisons: Napier v Scottish Ministers

Cuban prisons are overcrowded, unhygienic and unhealthy. This can be compared with the position in the United Kingdom and the United States. For example, in Napier v Scottish Ministers (2005), N was a remand prisoner in Barlinnie Prison. He had to share a cell which was designed for one person. The cell had poor washing and toilet facilities and human waste had to be “slopped out”. He was confined to the cell for an average of 20 hours a day. The cell was described as small, overcrowded, gloomy and stuffy. N developed severe eczema and psychological problems. The Scottish court decided that he had suffered degrading treatment in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention. He had been exposed to conditions of detention which were such as to diminish his human dignity and to arouse in him feelings of anxiety, anguish, inferiority and humiliation.

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