UC Law SF International Law Review


Ela Grdinic


Domestic violence has not traditionally been considered a type of torture. In fact, until recently, many European countries did not even have laws to protect women from domestic assault. However, the development of concepts in international law such as the individual right to petition, the positive obligations of states, the absolute character of certain rights, and the expansion of the application of state responsibility for the acts of private individuals, all provide fertile ground for the recognition of domestic violence as a human rights issue.

This Article argues that incidents of domestic violence in fact satisfy the criteria imposed by the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Commission of Human Rights for a determination that particular conduct amounts to torture. This Article explores whether the European Convention on Human Rights may be used by women of European countries to protect against domestic abuse.