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Article 2 - Right to life

1. Everyone has the right to life
2. No one shall be condemned to the death penalty, or executed.

    Text:

    1. Paragraph 1 of this Article is based on the first sentence of Article 2(1) of the ECHR, which reads as follows:
    "1. Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law?"

    2. The second sentence of the provision, which referred to the death penalty, was superseded by the entry into force of Article 1 of Protocol No 6 to the ECHR, which reads as follows:
    "The death penalty shall be abolished. No-one shall be condemned to such penalty or executed." Article 2(2) of the Charter is based on that provision.

    3. The provisions of Article 2 of the Charter correspond to those of the above Articles of the ECHR and its Protocol. They have the same meaning and the same scope, in accordance with Article 52(3) of the Charter. Therefore, the "negative" definitions appearing in the ECHR must be regarded as also forming part of the Charter:

    (a) Article 2(2) of the ECHR:

    "Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary: 
    (a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence;
    (b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;
    (c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection."

    (b) Article 2 of Protocol No 6 to the ECHR:

    "A State may make provision in its law for the death penalty in respect of acts committed in time of war or of imminent threat of war; such penalty shall be applied only in the instances laid down in the law and in accordance with its provisions ..."

    Source:
    Official Journal of the European Union C 303/17 - 14.12.2007

    Preamble - Explanations relating to the Charter of Fundamental Rights:
    These explanations were originally prepared under the authority of the Praesidium of the Convention which drafted the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Although they do not as such have the status of law, they are a valuable tool of interpretation intended to clarify the provisions of the Charter.

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  • Directive (EU) 2017/541 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on combating terrorism and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA and amending Council Decision 2005/671/JHA
    URL:
    (Directive on combating terrorism)

    Article 3 - Terrorist offences ‘(1) Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that the following intentional acts, as defined as offences under national law, which, given their nature or context, may seriously damage a country or an international organisation, are defined as terrorist offences where committed with one of the aims listed in paragraph 2: (a) attacks upon a person’s life which may cause death; [...]’

  • Regulation (EU) No 656/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management...
    URL:
    (Regulation establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders)

    Preamble: ‘(19) This Regulation respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised by Articles 2 and 6 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and by the Charter, in particular respect for human dignity, the right to life, the prohibition of torture and of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the prohibition of trafficking in human beings, the right to liberty and security, the right to the protection of personal data, the right to asylum and to protection against removal and expulsion, the principles of non-refoulement and non-discrimination, the right to an effective remedy and the rights of the child. This Regulation should be applied by Member States and the Agency in accordance with those rights and principles.’ ‘(12) This Regulation should be applied in full compliance with the principle of non-refoulement as defined in the Charter and as interpreted by the case-law of the Court and of the European Court of Human Rights. In accordance with that principle, no person should be disembarked in, forced to enter, conducted to or otherwise handed over to the authorities of a country where, inter alia, there is a serious risk that he or she would be subjected to the death penalty, torture, persecution or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or where his or her life or freedom would be threatened on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, or from which there is a serious risk of an expulsion, removal or extradition to another country in contravention of the principle of non-refoulement.’ Article 4 Protection of fundamental rights and the principle of non-refoulement ‘(1) No person shall, in contravention of the principle of non-refoulement, be disembarked in, forced to enter, conducted to or otherwise handed over to the authorities of a country where, inter alia, there is a serious risk that he or she would be subjected to the death penalty, torture, persecution or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or where his or her life or freedom would be threatened on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, or from which there is a serious risk of an expulsion, removal or extradition to another country in contravention of the principle of non-refoulement.’