The recent judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (‘the ECtHR’ or ‘the Court’) in Vinter and Others reflects a very significant change in the Court's attitude to those actions of the states parties to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (‘the Convention’ or ‘the ECHR’) that consist in the imposition and further execution of whole life sentences. In this judgment, the Court concluded that Article 3 of the Convention – which prohibits torture, inhuman or degrading punishment – requires the reducibility of all whole life sentences as imposed by national courts, in the sense of a review mechanism which allows domestic authorities to conclude whether in the course of a life sentence the legitimate peno-logical grounds justifying the further incarceration of a life prisoner still exist. Moreover, such a mechanism or possibility for review of a whole life sentence must be provided for by a national law and, consequently, must be known to a life prisoner already at the moment of imposition of the whole life sentence. What is also important, a life prisoner, at the outset of his/her sentence, must know when (i.e. after how many years) and under what conditions a review of his/her sentence will take place or may be sought, and what he/she must do to be considered for release. Otherwise, the very imposition of a life sentence by a national court infringes Article 3 of the Convention.