Risk assessment and the ECtHR: how far can individuals trust states’ authorities in their duty to prevent harm?

It is usually assumed that one of the fundamental missions of States is to provide some protection to individuals living under their jurisdiction. This is legally translated into obligations (including positive obligations) for States to respond to certain risks, the materialisation of which could affect the life, physical or moral integrity or property of one or several persons. These obligations are based in particular on human rights, as enshrined in Europe in the ECHR.
However, individuals cannot place unlimited trust in States. The contribution aims to discuss the nature of the risks that must be taken into account by States and the scope of their obligations. Starting from the observation that the concept of risk has not been systematically developed in the relevant case law, the paper aims to propose a cross-cutting reading grid to better understand how far individuals can trust states’ authorities in their duty to prevent harm.