Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, II Section, 8 January 2013, Torreggiani and others v. Italy (Applications No. 43517/09, 46882/09, 55400/09, 57875/09, 61535/09, 35315/10 e 37818/10)

The shortage of space in prison cells, along with other conditions such as the lack of hot water over long periods and inadequate lighting and ventilation, subjected the applicants to hardship of an intensity exceeding the unavoidable level of suffering inherent in detention, in breach of Article 3 of the ECHR (prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment). By acknowledging the structural problem of overcrowding in Italian prisons, the European Court of Human Rights issued a pilot judgment ex Article 46 of the ECHR, which called on Italian authorities to put in place a combination of remedies aimed at solving the issue and providing effective redress in respect of violations of the Convention.