European Community Law
- Ahmet Sadik v. Greece -
conviction of politician belonging to Muslim community of Western Thrace
for disturbing peace during election campaign by distributing leaflets
referring to that community as "Turkish" -- Applicant deceased - widow and
children have legitimate moral interest in obtaining ruling.
- Oerlemans v. The Netherlands
- Access to Court: Government designated as a protected natural
site an area of land, including land belonging to applicant -- Compliance:
whether the applicant was given the opportunity to challenge the
lawfulness of the order
- Philis v. Greece - Right
of access to a court was not absolute, but might be subject to
limitations, since the right by its very nature called for regulation by
the State. However, limitations ought not to restrict or reduce the access
left to the individual in such a way as to impair the very essence of the
- Ankerl v. Switzerland -
spouse of party to civil trial unable to be heard on oath as a witness
-- Requirement of "equality of arms" applies also to litigation in which
private interests are opposed and implies that each party must be afforded
a reasonable opportunity to present his case, including his evidence,
under conditions that do not place him at a substantial disadvantage
- J.J. v. the Netherlands -
plaintiff in taxation proceedings in Supreme Court unable to reply to
advisory opinion of the Advocate-General --- Applicant’s appeal against
fiscal penalty declared inadmissible on sole ground that court
registration fee --- appeal on points of law-- right to adversarial
- Twalib v. Greece - lack of
adequate time and facilities for preparation of defence during criminal
trial and absence of legal aid in cassation proceedings
- Mangov. v. Greece
- The right of access to courts in civil matters may be infringed upon
where an alien, whose civil rights in a Convention state are in dispute,
is prevented from entering that State. However, the
requirement that applicant fill out a detailed visa form for entry into a
foreign country did not prevent him from duly applying for the visa,
and thus he had not been confronted with a formal refusal of leave to
enter the state.
Lalljee v. United Kingdom - Matters of immigration
are within the discretion of the competent public authority. Thus, a
decision to refuse an applicant a special voucher for entry to the U.K.
did not involve a violation of his right of access to the courts.
- Olsson v.
Sweden - Reunion with children in care. Where
applicants' requests for termination of public care of their children
lasted five years in respect to one child and approximately six years for
the other two, authorities did not always proceed with proper diligence
and the total duration was excessive. Applicants' proceedings
concering their request for the return of their children, which lasted
thirteen months, was not excessive.
v. Austria - Where the applicant was not
allowed to be personally present at the Supreme Court's hearings of his
appeals against sentence, there was a violation of the right to a fair
trial and the right to defend oneself in person. The mere
fact that a draft judgment was prepared and discussed prior to the hearing
of applicant's case by the competent Supreme Court chamber does not make
the proceedings unfair. Where the Attorney-General's position paper, on
which the Supreme Court's judgment was based to a large extent, was served
on defense only three weeks before the hearing, although its communication
had been requested much earlier, a violation of the right to a fair
hearing had not occurred
Dobbertin v. France - A violation of the
right to a speedy hearing within a reasonable time by a tribunal occurred
where the proceedings, which lasted 12 years and 10 months, had been
prolonged by the abolition of the courts originally seised of the case; by
a delay in the determination of two procedural issues; and by the fact
that the applicant made numerous appeals on points of law to remedy
certain irregularities attributable to the judicial authorities.
Conviction based solely on testimony of policeman who had taken victims'
statements (victims opted not to appear at trial), where neither the
applicant nor his counsel had adequate opportunity to examine witnesses
whose evidence was taken into account by the courts responsible for trying
the facts, violated the applicant's right to a examine witnesses against
Federal Republic of Germany -
A government may not, in relation
to its responsibility to adjudicate claims in a reasonable period of time,
seek refuge behind the possible failings of their own domestic law.
The competent authorities did not act with the necessary diligence
v. Denmark -
The mere fact that a trial judge or an appeal judge has also made
pre-trial decisions in the case, including those concerning detention on
remand, cannot be held as in itself justifying fears as to his
impartiality. If, however, based on the particular facts, the impartiality
of the courts in question was capable of appearing to be open to doubt,
then an applicants' fears in this respect can be considered objectively
Kamasinski v. Austria -
Competent national authorities are
required to intervene in order to make sure defendants represented by
legal aid receive effective counsel only if a failure by legal aid counsel
to provide effective representation is manifest or sufficiently brought to
their attention in some way.
The absence of a written translation of the judgement does not in itself
entail a violation of the right to a fair trial.
An appeal court's unilateral inquiry to obtain evidence from the
presiding judge of the trial court, without providing the defendant with
an opportunity to comment, constituted a violation of the principle
guarantees of a judicial superior.
v. The Netherlands -
Government's decision to designate
applicant's land a nature preservation, thus permitting farming but
subjecting some activities to regulation, and the subsequent adjudication
of a challenge to this practice by a Administrative Disputes Division
whose decision was not susceptible to review, constituted a violation of
the applicant's right to a fair hearing.
- The absence
of a right of access to a court permitting the applicant to lodge with the
competent courts his actions for remuneration and any other action
relating thereto for a repudiated contract, and his capacity to
participate in the proceedings being limited to a third party
intervention, indicates the applicant's lack of effective control
over the proceedings concerning his claims.
Tomasi v. France
Two periods of delay lasting over a year caused by the judicial
authorities and not the accused constituted a violation of the applicant's
right to trial within a reasonable time. Where responsibility
for the delays lies essentially with the judicial authorities,
particularly where the public prosecutor allowed more than a year and a
half to elapse before asking that a competent investigating authority be
designated, the length of the proceedings were not reasonable.
Hoang v. France
- The presumption of innocence specifically and the concept of
a fair trial generally is not violated where the defendant has the
opportunity to rebut a presumption of guilt in criminal legislation with
evidence to the contrary.
- The national authorities delayed
the proceedings twice by a total of 39 months when constitutional
questions were under examination and, despite attaching weight to the
special features of constitutional proceedings, the proceedings exceeded a
reasonable time. The
applicants were not given free access to the observations of other
participants on the substance of the constitutional proceedings and did
not have a genuine opportunity to comment on those observations in
contrast to the respondents.
Thus applicans were therefore denied a fair trial