Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights primarily enshrines the right to liberty, although it also refers to the right to personal security.

It allows for only a few exceptions, such as the arrest of persons suspected of criminal offences or convicted by a court.

It also provides for the right to be informed, in a language that one understands, of the reasons for the arrest and the charges laid; the right to a prompt remedy to challenge the lawfulness of the arrest or detention; the right to be tried within a reasonable time; and the right to compensation in the event of unjust arrest or detention.

Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibits slavery and forced labour.

However, this prohibition does not apply to conscription, national service, prison labour, emergency requisitions and civic obligations.

Article 5 – Right to liberty and security

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty save in the following cases and in accordance with a procedure prescribed by law:

(a) the lawful detention of a person after conviction by a competent court;

(b) the lawful arrest or detention of a person for non- compliance with the lawful order of a court or in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation prescribed by law;

(c) the lawful arrest or detention of a person effected for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority on reasonable suspicion of having committed an offence or when it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent his committing an offence or fleeing after having done

(d) the detention of a minor by lawful order for the purpose of educational supervision or his lawful detention for the purpose of bringing him before the competent legal authority;

(e) the lawful detention of persons for the prevention of the spreading of infectious diseases, of persons of unsound mind, alcoholics or drug addicts or vagrants;

(f) the lawful arrest or detention of a person to prevent his effecting an unauthorised entry into the country or of a person against whom action is being taken with a view to deportation or extradition.

2. Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly, in a language which he understands, of the reasons for his arrest and of any charge against him.

3. Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 (c) of this Article shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial. Release may be conditioned by guarantees to appear for trial.

4. Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful.

5. Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in contravention of the provisions of this Article shall have an enforceable right to compensation.”

Article 5 ECHR

Article 4 – Prohibition of slavery and forced labour

1. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

2. No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.

3. For the purpose of this article the term ‘forced or compulsory labour’ shall not include:

    a any work required to be done in the ordinary course of detention imposed according to the provisions of Article 5 of [the] Convention or during conditional release from such detention;

    b any service of a military character or, in case of conscientious objectors in countries where they are recognised, service exacted instead of compulsory military service ;

    c any service exacted in case of an emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community ;

    d any work or service which forms part of normal civic obligations.

Article 4 ECHR
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