The European Union thanks the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Mr. Morris Tidball-Binz, for his report on medico-legal death investigations.
Mr. Special Rapporteur, The EU strongly condemns all acts of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, including those by Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine. Such acts are abhorrent and represent severe violations of human rights, including the inherent right to life. The contribution of medico-legal death investigation systems to criminal justice, the rule of law and the protection of the right to life cannot be overstated.
We underline the crucial importance of preventing any form of arbitrary deprivation of life and of ensuring accountability when such killings occur. To achieve accountability, prosecutions upholding internationally recognized fair trial and due process norms and standards, including the existence of medico-legal and death-investigation systems, are key in our view.
States have the duty to investigate the cause and manner of any potentially unlawful death promptly, impartially and transparently without distinction of any kind.
Mr. Special Rapporteur, in your view: what are the most urgent measures for States to take in order to ensure an effective, adequate and sustainable medico-legal and death-investigation system?