Allan v The United Kingdom: ECHR 5 Nov 2002

The appellant had been convicted of murder. The police had encouraged an informant to associate with him whilst in prison and to entice admissions from him. They had also recorded conversations whilst he was in the police station cells.
Held: No system regulated such recordings, and accordingly the recordings were not according to law, and were an infringement of his human rights. As to the conversations with the fellow inmate, it was not the function of the Court to adjudicate on matters of fact, nor as to the admissibility of evidence. The question for the court was whether the behaviour was such as to render the proceedings as a whole unfair. This included whether there had been shown due respect for the rights of the defence. The right against self-incrimination includes the right not to incriminate oneself through coercion or oppression, in defiance of the will of the accused. He had here exercised his right of silence on interview. The police had coached the informant to try to extract a confession, and the confessions obtained were not spontaneous or unprompted. The confessions were obtained in defiance of his will, and in breach of his article 6 rights to a fair trial. Art 13 had also been infringed by the use of wrongful surveillance without effective remedy.
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 8 ; Violation of Art. 6-1 ; Violation of Art. 13 ; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award ; Costs and expenses partial award – Convention proceedings
Times 12-Nov-2002, 48539/99, [2002] ECHR 697, [2002] ECHR 702
Worldlii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights Art 8.1 Art 6 Art 13

Updated: 09 January 2021; Ref: scu.177895