EIT: Asianajajan puuttuminen rikosprosessin alkuvaiheesta johti ihmisoikeusloukkaukseen
The restrictions on the right of access to a lawyer had been particularly extensive and, without being sufficiently informed of his right to remain silent, Mr Beuze had made detailed statements while in police custody. Beuze v. BelgiumIn Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Beuze v. Belgium (application no. 71409/10) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:
- a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (c) of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to a fairtrial, right to legal assistance).
The case concerned the denial of legal assistance at the pre-trial stage of criminal proceedings. The Court found that the criminal proceedings, when considered as a whole, had not remedied the procedural defects occurring at the pre-trial stage. The restrictions on the right of access to a lawyer had been particularly extensive and in those circumstances, without being sufficiently informed of his right to remain silent, Mr Beuze had made detailed statements while in police custody.
His statements had subsequently been included in the evidence before the Assize Court, which had failed to conduct an appropriate examination of how they had been obtained or to consider the impact of the lawyer’s absence. The Court of Cassation had focused on the lack of legal assistance in police custody but had not assessed the consequences for the applicant’s defence rights of the lawyer’s absence during his subsequent police interviews, examinations by the investigating judge and other acts during the judicial investigation.
In the Court’s view, the combination of these various factors had rendered the proceedings unfair as a whole.