Koendjbiharie v The Netherlands: ECHR 25 Oct 1990

Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 5-4; Non-pecuniary damage – finding of violation sufficient; Costs and expenses award – Convention proceedings
Unsuccessful proceedings brought by the applicant to challenge his detention in a state psychiatric clinic had taken four months to be completed, the period allowed under domestic law being three months.
Held: It is for the public authority responsible for making the determination to justify the delay: ‘On the face of it, a lapse of time of more than four months appears incompatible with the notion of speediness. This impression is strengthened by the fact that, when amending national law, the Dutch legislature set at three months the period exceptionally available to a court which, like the Court of Appeal in this case, is considering the possibility, after a first hearing, of refusing the extension, but deems it necessary to obtain additional information.
A more detailed study of the facts of the case does not dispel this impression: quite the contrary. The Court of Appeal was evidently not slow to initiate the examination of the application – lodged on 17 May, the court considered it on 4 June – but it is legitimate to question its decision to adjourn the proceedings until 17 August. The Government supplied no information capable of justifying it. Nor did it provide any explanation why the Court of Appeal took more than one month after the hearing to draft a brief order.
The Court, accordingly, finds a failure to comply with the requirement of ‘speediness’ laid down in paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the Convention.’


Ryssdal, President


11487/85, [1990] ECHR 28, (1991) 13 EHRR 820


Worldlii, Bailii


European Convention on Human Rights 5(4)

Cited by:

CitedFaulkner, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice and Another SC 1-May-2013
The applicants had each been given a life sentence, but having served the minimum term had been due to have the continued detention reviewed to establish whether or not continued detention was necessary for the protection of the pblic. It had not . .
CitedOsborn v The Parole Board SC 9-Oct-2013
Three prisoners raised questions as to the circumstances in which the Parole Board is required to hold an oral hearing before making an adverse decision. One of the appeals (Osborn) concerned a determinate sentence prisoner who was released on . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Damages

Updated: 04 June 2022; Ref: scu.165088