The Right to Liberty and Security

Course outline

The guarantees contained in Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights have fundamental importance in securing the right of individuals in a democracy to be free from arbitrary detention at the hands of the authorities. With regard to its importance, this course’s approach to the right to liberty and security is twofold. Firstly, thorough explanation will be given to the substantive elements of Article 5. It will include the issue of deprivation of liberty, the concept of arbitrariness, or the arguments regarding the lawfulness of the deprivation of liberty. With regard to the procedural elements, issues of the pre-trial detention will be discussed with a special focus on the arrest and remand periods, as well as the questions raised by the multiplicity of expressions used for ‘court’ by Article 5. Secondly, the course will address the issue of derogation. Derogation from Article 5 has gained unquestionable importance in connection with anti-terrorism measures and therefore constitutes an essential element of the course. The notion of public emergency will be addressed together with the implicit procedural requirements of Article 15.


The course will enable students to strike the differences between arbitrary and lawful measures. Criterions set by the Courts will provide solid backbone for benchmarking state’s practice regarding the lawfulness of the deprivation of liberty. The controversial questions related to security and terrorism will enhance students’ argumentation skills.



Petra Bárd

Miklós Lévay