Study of the Area of Application of the Presumption of Innocence by the European Court of Human Rights

Document Type : Original Article

Author

Abstract

The Presumption of Innocence is enshrined in different international human rights documents, including the European Convention on Human Rights. Although the Presumption involves a wide range of aspects and influences, its applicability or its area of application is restricted to some conditions. Most of these documents (like the European Convention on Human Rights) state that the Presumption lies exclusively within the area of “charges of criminal offences”. Contrary to some other conceptions, the Presumption does not orbit “doubt as to obligation” or even “doubt” itself. In truth, it exclusively rotates around charges of criminal offences. Accordingly, the European Court of Human Rights, due to Article 6 (2), in order to determine the area of application of the Presumption faces two concepts: first is the concept of “charge” and the other is concept of “criminal offence”. The main concern of the present research is to scrutinize the Court’s approach to these concepts. In principle the Court views “charge” as a formal notification which is submitted to an authorized public official to an individual. But the Court regards as “charge” any measure by state which has that effect. On the other hand, the Court has created three criteria in order to find out what a criminal offence is. First the Court has regard to the classification of the offence in domestic law. Then, it assesses the offence according to the nature of the offence and the aim of its punishment. As the third criterion, the Court considers the nature of punishment and its severity. In fact, the Court, in its procedure, has tried to interpret these two concepts in a manner which offer more protection to individuals.

Keywords


الف) کتب و مقالات
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ب) آراء دادگاه اروپایی حقوق بشر
No
Title
Application Number
Date of Judgment
1
Adolf v. Austria
8269/78
26-03-1982
2
Air Canada v. United Kingdom
18465/91
05-05-1995
3
AP, MP and TP v. Switzerland
19958/92
29-08-1997
4
Bendenoun v. France
12547/86
24-02-1994
5
Benham v. United Kingdom
19380/92
10-06-1996
6
Borelli v. Switzerland
17571/90
Unreported
7
Brozicek v. Italy
10964/84
19-12-1989
8
Campbell and Fell v. United Kingdom
7819/77, 7878/77
28-06-1984
9
Campbell v. United Kingdom
13590/88
25-03-1992
10
Deweer v. Belgium
6903/75
27-02-1980
11
Eckle v. Germany
8130/78
21-06-1983
12
Eggs v. Switzerland
10313/83
1984
13
EL, RL and JO-L v. Switzerland
20919/92
29-08-1997
14
Engel and Others v. Netherlands
 
5100/71, 5101/71, 5102/71, 5354/72, 5370/72
08-06-1976
15
Escoubet v. Belgium
26780/95
28-10-1999
16
Foti and others v. Italy
 
7604/76, 7719/76, 7781/77, 7913/77
21-11-1983
17
Frau v. Italy
12147/86
19-02-1991
18
Gradinger v. Austria
15963/90
23-10-1995
19
Kadubec v. Slovakia
27061/95
02-09-1998
20
Lauko v. Slovakia
26138/95
02-09-1998
21
Minelli v. Switzerland
8660/79
25-03-1983
22
Öztürk v. Germany
8544/79
23-10-1984
23
Pfarrmeier v. Austria
16841/90
23-10-1995
24
Phillips v. United Kingdom
41087/98
05-07-2001
25
Pramstaller v. Austria
16713/90
23-10-1995
26
Pugliese v. Italy
45789/99
28-11-2002
27
Putz v. Austria
18892/91
22-02-1996
28
Ravnsborg v. Sweden
14220/88
19-02-1993
29
Ringvold v. Norway
34964/97
11-02-2003
30
Weber v. Switzerland
11034/84
22-05-1990
31
Y v. Norway
56568/00
11-02-2003