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M.C. v Bulgaria , (39272/98) [2003] 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 insufficient evidence

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 Convention

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."



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