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Court backs United Kingdom in human rights row over street brawl death

Judges have rejected a complaint against the United Kingdom from a Czech woman who claims her brother, killed in a London street brawl, suffered a human rights breach.

In its decision in the case of Makarová v. the United Kingdom (application no. 67149/17), the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the application inadmissible. The decision is final.

The applicant, Adéla Makarová, is a Czech national who was born in 1983 and lives in Prague. Her brother, Zdeněk Makar, was killed in September 2016 in London. The police identified a man, R.S., as a suspect, and he was brought to trial in 2017.

The prosecution alleged that R.S. had followed Makar down the street after a dispute in a takeaway restaurant and had killed him by hitting him with a bike lock. R.S. pleaded self-defence and he was eventually acquitted by a jury in a majority decision of both murder and manslaughter.

During the trial, the judge had directed the jury on the law related to the crimes in question as well as on self-defence. The jury was also given a document which had a list of agreed questions to guide them in logical order to a verdict.

In its decision in the case, the court noted that the government had not been directly involved in the death of the applicant’s brother, Zdeněk Makar, but that the State had a duty under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to life) to make sure that there had been an effective investigation which could determine the cause of the injuries to him and the identification of those responsible.

It found that the authorities had carried out an investigation and had identified the man who had been responsible for Makar’s death. That person had been brought to trial and had been acquitted of both murder and manslaughter by a jury.

 

Endorsing the domestic authorities’ actions, the court found that the applicant’s complaints were manifestly ill-founded and had to be rejected.

 

 

 

 

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