M.C. v Bulgaria
, (39272/98)  ECHR 646 (4 December 2003).
Facts: the applicant was victim of a rape and brought criminal
proceedings. The applicant's criminal proceedings regarding allegations of
rape were terminated by Bulgarian state authorities because there was
Complaint: relying on Articles 3, 8 and 13 of the Convention, the
applicant claimed that Bulgarian law and practice did not provide effective
protection against rape and sexual abuse and had not investigated
effectively. He alleged that the State failed to fulfill its positive
obligations to protect the individual's physical integrity and private life
and to provide effective remedies in this respect.
Holding: The ECHR held that there had been a violation of
Bulgaria's positive obligations under both Articles 3 and 8 of the
Reasoning: under articles 3 and 8 of the Convention, member States
had a positive obligation to enact criminal-law provisions effectively
punishing rape and to apply them in practice through effective investigation
and prosecution. The Court ruled that the State failed to fulfill its
obligation to "establish and apply effectively a criminal-law system
punishing all forms of rape and sexual abuse."