I would like to help today and donate

Next
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Next
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
CLOSE
NEWS

The European Court of Human Rights issues its judgment in the case of Beuze v Belgium

admin - November 9, 2018 - European Court of Human Rights

 

Today, the European Court of Human Rights issued its judgment in the case of Beuze v Belgium, which Fair Trials intervened in late last year.

The judgment is positive in that the court reaffirmed the central place that the right to access a lawyer has in protecting the right to a fair trial and preventing coercion and ill-treatment and found a violation of the right to a fair trial where a defendant had been convicted based on statements he made after being denied access to a lawyer and not properly informed of his rights. We are disappointed, however, to see that the court has decided to apply the approach that it adopted in the case of Ibrahim and others vs UK, departing from the standards that it established in the Salduz case.

Contrary to the Salduz case, which brought widespread positive reform across Europe, the Ibrahim case, which related to an urgent terrorism investigation, establishes the possibility that defendants can be convicted based on evidence gained in violation of their basic fair trial rights, including rights protected under EU law. In today’s judgment, the court decided to apply the Ibrahim rule to all cases, and not just to urgent and exceptional situations as the court was faced in with Ibrahim. By doing so, the court has not only followed a growing trend to extend watered-down protection developed in response to terrorism to ordinary criminal law, it has provided public authorities with a direct incentive to violate the rights of criminal defendants in the hope of coercing or otherwise encouraging confessions.

Fair Trials continues to raise concerns with confession-based justice and this judgment appears to have made matters worse.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please call the media team on +44 (0) 7749 785 932 or email [email protected]

Keep up to date

Receive updates on our work and news about Fair Trials globally

Activities in the following sections on this website are supported by the Justice Programme of the European Union: Legal Experts Advisory Panel, Defence Rights Map, Case Law Database, Advice Guides and Latest News. More information about our financial supporters is available here.