Asianajajapakko rikosasiassa ei loukannut oikeutta oikeudenmukaiseen oikeudenkäyntiin
Portugalilainen valittaja oli lakimies ja halusi huolehtia itse puolustuksestaanIn today’s Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Correia de Matos v. Portugal (application no. 56402/12) the European Court of Human Rights held, by nine votes to eight, that there had been:
- no violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) (right to a fair trial/right to defend oneself in person) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Court observed that the decision of the Portuguese courts requiring the applicant to be represented by counsel had been the result of comprehensive legislation seeking to protect accused persons by securing an effective defence in cases where a custodial sentence was possible. The essential aim of the Portuguese rule of mandatory legal representation in criminal proceedings was to ensure the proper administration of justice and a fair trial respecting the right of the accused to equality of arms.
With regard to the overall fairness of the trial, the Court did not discern any cogent reasons to doubt that the applicant’s defence by court-appointed counsel had been conducted properly or to consider that the conduct of the proceedings by the domestic courts had been in any way unfair.
Click here to download the judgment.