Coeme and others v Belgium: ECHR 22 Jun 2000

The mischief that Article 7 is designed to prevent is the imposition by the State of (i) criminal liability for an act which did not attract such liability at the time it was committed or (ii) a penalty greater than the maximum permitted when the offence was committed. ‘The court must verify that at the time when the accused prisoner performed the act which led to him being prosecuted and convicted there was in force a legal provision which made that act punishable, and that the punishment imposed did not exceed the limits fixed by that provision.’


32492/96, [2000] ECHR 249, 32548/96, [2000] ECHR 250, 32492/96, 32547/96


Worldlii, Bailii


European Convention on Human Rights 7.1


Human Rights

Cited by:

CitedMcFetrich, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 30-Jun-2003
The defendant had been convicted of murder in Scotland. He requested a transfer to an English prison. The trial judge recommended a tariff of eight years which was eventually set at 12 years by the respondent. That figure also exceeded the maximum . .
CitedUttley, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 30-Jul-2004
In 1995 the defendant was sentenced to twelve years for rapes committed in 1983. He complained that the consequences of the later sentence were adverse because of the 1991 Act. He would now serve three quarters of the sentence rather than two . .
CitedDocherty, Regina v SC 14-Dec-2016
After conviction on his own admission for wounding with intent, and with a finding that he posed a threat to the public, the defendant was sentenced to imprisonment for public protection. Such sentences were abolished with effect from the day after . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Criminal Sentencing

Updated: 05 April 2022; Ref: scu.184131