These appeals concern the statutory provisions governing the eligibility for compensation of persons convicted of a criminal offence where their conviction is subsequently quashed (or they are pardoned) because of the impact of fresh evidence. It was argued that the failure to make payment amounted to a denial of the right to the presumption of innocence.
Held: (Lord Reed DPSC and Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore JSC dissenting) Article 6(2) does not apply to section 133 claims for compensation.
The critical distinction between ‘innocence’ as used in article 6(2) and exoneration on the facts might in one sense be said to be a semantic one, but if so the Strasbourg court has emphasised time and again that language (ie semantics) is for it the critical test of breach of article 6(2). In reality it is not a mere semantic distinction but reflects a fundamental principle of the criminal law, namely the strict enhanced standard of proof. It is not possible for the law simultaneously to erect a differential and enhanced standard of proof for criminal prosecutions, and then effectively to apply that standard not just to criminal trials but to other (indeed maybe to all) other adjudications upon the facts which led to the prosecution. Neither the suggested test of ‘link’ nor the suggested test of language will work to determine the scope of article 6(2) in the face of this difficulty.
‘there will be many who are charged with or tried on criminal offences who are truly innocent but are unable to establish their innocence as a positive fact. That undeniable circumstance must form part of the backdrop to the proper approach to the application of article 6(2) of ECHR.’
Lady Hale, President, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Reed, Lord Hughes, Lord Lloyd-Jones
 UKSC 2,  WLR(D) 63,  AC 279,  HRLR 5,  2 WLR 440, 47 BHRC 199,  2 All ER 841
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 14(6), European Convention on Human Rights P7(3), Criminal Justice Act 1988, Human Rights Act 1998
England and Wales
Cited – Adams, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice SC 11-May-2011
The three claimants had each been convicted of murders and served time. Their convictions had been reversed eventually, and they now appealed against the refusal of compensation for imprisonment, saying that there had been a miscarriage of justice. . .
Appeal from – Hallam and Another, Regina (on The Applications of) v The Secretary of State for Justice CA 11-Apr-2016
The claimants had had their criminal convictions quashed, but had had claims for compensation rejected. They said that section 133(1ZA) of the 1988 Act (as amended) infringed their Human Rights by displacing the presumption of innocence.
Held: . .
See Also – Hallam, R v CACD 17-May-2012
The effect of fresh evidence was to make the conviction unsafe: ‘ . . the fresh evidence has not ‘demolished’ the prosecution case. But its effect on the safety of this conviction is substantial. We are clear in our view that if the jury had heard . .
Cited – Allen (formerly Harris), Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice CA 15-Jul-2008
The claimant appealed against refusal of a review of the defendant to allow her compensation after her conviction for manslaughter of her infant son was quashed.
Held: The conviction had been based on flawed expert evidence.
Article 6(2) . .
Cited – Nealon and Another, Regina (on The Application) v The Secretary of State for Justice Admn 8-Jun-2015
Challenges to refusal of compensation for imprisonment after successful appeal against conviction. . .
Cited – Allen v United Kingdom ECHR 12-Jul-2013
The claimant had successfully appealed against her conviction for the manslaughter of her child, after expert evidence had been discredited. She now appealed against the refusal of compensation. She said that despite her acquittal, she had not been . .
Cited – Rex v Barron CCA 26-Mar-1914
To establish a plea of autrefois acquit it must be shewn either that the defendant had been previously acquitted of the same offence, or could have been convicted at the previous trial of the offence with which he is subsequently charged, or that . .
Cited – Gale and Another v Serious Organised Crime Agency SC 26-Oct-2011
Civil recovery orders had been made against the applicant. He had been accused and acquitted of drug trafficking allegations in Europe, but the judge had been persuaded that he had no proper explanation for the accumulation of his wealth, and had . .
Cited – Regina v Mullins-Johnson 19-Oct-2007
(Court of Appeal for Ontario) The appellant had been convicted of murder of his 4 year old niece and served 12 years in prison. His conviction was based on expert evidence that the autopsy indicated that the young girl had been sexually abused and . .
Cited – Engel And Others v The Netherlands (1) ECHR 8-Jun-1976
The court was asked whether proceedings in a military court against soldiers for disciplinary offences involved criminal charges within the meaning of Article 6(1): ‘In this connection, it is first necessary to know whether the provision(s) defining . .
Cited – Ashendon v United Kingdom ECHR 6-May-2008
Cited – Mullen, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 29-Apr-2004
The claimant had been imprisoned, but his conviction was later overturned. He had been a victim of a gross abuse of executive power. The British authorities had acted in breach of international law and had been guilty of ‘a blatant and extremely . .
Cited – Lutz v Germany ECHR 25-Aug-1987
Only criminal charges attract the additional protections under article 6(2) and 6(3). Insofar as these provisions apply to ‘everyone charged with a criminal offence’ it is well established in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights . .
Cited – Englert v Germany ECHR 25-Aug-1987
Hudoc Preliminary objection rejected (non-exhaustion); No violation of Art. 6-2 . .
Cited – Nolkenbockhoff v Germany ECHR 25-Aug-1987
Hudoc Preliminary objection rejected (victim); No violation of Art. 6-2 . .
Cited – Sikic v Croatia ECHR 15-Jul-2010
Cited – Sekanina v Austria ECHR 25-Aug-1993
The applicant was detained on remand for about a year on suspicion of murdering his wife. He was acquitted by a jury. He applied for compensation for costs incurred in his defence and pecuniary damage sustained during his detention under the . .
Cited – Moullet v France ECHR 13-Sep-2007
After an acquittal of criminal charges, it may still be legitimate to bring disciplinary proceedings or care proceedings under which a lesser standard of proof may be applied to the question of whether the defendant committed the conduct that had . .
Cited – Rushiti v Austria ECHR 21-Mar-2000
The right of every person under the Convention to be presumed innocent, includes the general rule that no suspicion regarding an accused’s innocence may be voiced after his acquittal: ‘In any case, the Court is not convinced by the Government’s . .
Cited – In re McKerr (Northern Ireland) HL 11-Mar-2004
The deceased had been shot by soldiers of the British Army whilst in a car in Northern Ireland. The car was alleged to have ‘run’ a checkpoint. The claimants said the investigation, now 20 years ago, had been inadequate. The claim was brought under . .
Cited – Regina (Holding and Barnes plc) v Secretary of State for Environment Transport and the Regions; Regina (Alconbury Developments Ltd and Others) v Same and Others HL 9-May-2001
Power to call in is administrative in nature
The powers of the Secretary of State to call in a planning application for his decision, and certain other planning powers, were essentially an administrative power, and not a judicial one, and therefore it was not a breach of the applicants’ rights . .
Cited – Ringvold v Norway ECHR 11-Feb-2003
The applicant had been tried for alleged sexual abuse of a minor, G, who in turn claimed civil compensation. He was acquitted and the claim for compensation dismissed. G appealed to the Supreme Court against the failure to award compensation. The . .
Cited – Muller v Germany ECHR 27-Mar-2014
ECHR Article 6-2
Presumption of innocence
Statement in expert report that applicant was guilty of criminal offence of which he had been acquitted: Article 6 – 2 applicable; no violation
Facts – . .
Cited – Orr v Norway ECHR 15-May-2008
The national High Court had dealt with the acquittal of the now complainant and the payment of compensation to the complainant in two clearly distinct parts of its judgment, but in several places highlighted that the standard of proof for civil . .
Cited – Capeau v Belgium ECHR 13-Jan-2005
ECHR Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) – Violation of Art. 6-2; Not necessary to examine Art. 14.
The accused had been investigated for suspected arson but discharged by the court on the grounds that . .
Cited – Regina v Special Adjudicator ex parte Ullah; Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 17-Jun-2004
The applicants had had their requests for asylum refused. They complained that if they were removed from the UK, their article 3 rights would be infringed. If they were returned to Pakistan or Vietnam they would be persecuted for their religious . .
Cited – Reeves v Norway ECHR 8-Jul-2004
The accused had been tried in the criminal courts for arson and the insurers who had paid out after the fire had been joined as civil parties to claim compensation from her. The standard of proof differed between the two decisions required. She was . .
Cited – Bateman and Howse, Regina (on the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 17-May-1994
The plaintiff had been convicted of several counts of receiving stolen goods and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. He had appealed to the Court of Appeal on the ground that he had been convicted on the basis of evidence in statement form given . .
Cited – Kay and Another v London Borough of Lambeth and others; Leeds City Council v Price and others and others HL 8-Mar-2006
In each case the local authority sought to recover possession of its own land. In the Lambeth case, they asserted this right as against an overstaying former tenant, and in the Leeds case as against gypsies. In each case the occupiers said that the . .
Cited – Manchester City Council v Pinnock SC 3-Nov-2010
The tenant had been secure but had his tenancy had been reduced to an insecure demoted tenancy after he was accused of anti-social behaviour. He had not himself been accused of any misbehaviour, but it was said that he should have controlled his . .
Cited – Dicle And Sadak v Turkey ECHR 16-Jun-2015
Cited – Chester, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice SC 16-Oct-2013
The two applicants were serving life sentences for murder. Each sought damages for the unlawful withdrawal of their rights to vote in elections, and the failure of the British parliament to take steps to comply with the judgment.
Held: The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Damages, Criminal Practice, Human Rights
Updated: 01 January 2022; Ref: scu.633292