Orse Attorney General’s Reference No 2 of 2001
The AG sought to appeal from the decision that an indictment against the seven defendants should be stayed on the ground that there had been a breach of Article 6(1). They were accused of involvement in a riot in prison in April 1998. They and others were interviewed in June and July 1998, and papers submitted to CPS at the end of July 1998. Informations were laid in February 2000, and the trial started on 31 January 2001. Two issues arose: From when was the time to be calculated, and then as to the remedy to be provided.
Held: Under the Convention, the term ‘charge’ has a broader meaning than it would in UK law. In this case, but not always, its use was as here.
The judge at trial had erred; at the trial of a defendant on a criminal charge, it is not only the defendant who is to be considered. The public are interested in whether or not defendants are tried for criminal offences they have committed. As is the case with many of the rights which are contained in the Convention, the courts are called upon to hold the balance between the rights of the individual and the rights of the public. ‘the judge failed to distinguish between the conduct which constitutes the unlawful act for the purpose of Article 6(1) and the remedy which the court provides for the unlawful act if there has indeed been an unlawful act. If a person complains of a contravention of the reasonable time requirement in Article 6, and if the court comes to the conclusion that there has been a contravention, then at the request of the complainant the court is required to provide the appropriate remedy. If the court is willing and able to provide the appropriate remedy, then the court is not compelled to take the course of staying the proceedings. That is a remedy which the court can grant, but it is certainly not a remedy which it is required to grant. ‘
The Lord Woolf of Barnes LCJ, Wright, Grogson JJ
 EWCA Crim 1568,  1 WLR 1869,  1 Cr App Rep 272
Eurpean Convention on Human Rights 6(1), Criminal Justice Act 1972 36
England and Wales
Cited – Deweer v Belgium ECHR 27-Feb-1980
The applicant, a Belgian butcher, paid a fine by way of settlement in the face of an order for the closure of his shop until judgment was given in an intended criminal prosecution or until such fine was paid.
Held: Since the payment was made . .
Cited – Eckle v Germany ECHR 15-Jul-1982
Two fraud prosecutions against the claimants had lasted for 15 and 20 years respectively.
Held: Article 6.1 applies to all stages of criminal proceedings, including sentencing and any appeal. The ‘reasonable time’ in criminal matters, . .
Cited – Foti and Others v Italy ECHR 10-Dec-1982
ECHR Judgment (Merits) – Preliminary objection rejected (ex officio examination); Preliminary objection rejected (non-exhaustion); Violation of Art. 6-1; Non necessary to examine Art. 13; Just satisfaction . .
Cited – Corigliano v Italy ECHR 10-Dec-1982
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Preliminary objection rejected (substantially the same); Preliminary objection rejected (non-exhaustion); Preliminary objection rejected (victim); Violation of Art. . .
Cited – Attorney General’s Reference (No 1 of 1990) CACD 1990
A police officer attended an incident where two people were arrested. Complaints about his conduct were made of which he was given notice. A formal investigation was instituted and adjourned pending the outcome of criminal proceedings against those . .
Cited – Bell v The Director of Public Prosecutions and Another PC 30-Apr-1985
(Jamaica) Failure to provide trial within a reasonable time. There had been a lapse of seven years between the date of the alleged offence and the date of the retrial. The view was taken that there was specific prejudice caused as a consequence of . .
Cited – Darmalingum v The State PC 10-Jul-2000
(Mauritius) The constitutional right of a defendant to have his case tried within a reasonable time applied not just to the initial trial but also to any appeal arising from that trial. Where there had been inordinate and inexcusable delay between . .
Cited – Flowers v The Queen PC 30-Oct-2000
(Jamaica) Where a defendant claimed that his constitutional right to a trial within a reasonable time had been infringed, it was correct for the appellate courts to take account of the fact that it remained clear that the defendant was guilty of a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 05 September 2021; Ref: scu.263611