Mills v HM Advocate and Another: PC 22 Jul 2002

(The High Court of Justiciary) The defendant appealed on the basis that the delay in the sentencing process had resulted in an infringement of his human rights.
Held: The appeal itself had been without merit. The delay had been to such an extent as to amount to an infringement of his human rights, but this had been compensated for in a reduction in the sentence he was to serve. There was no Human Rights case law to suggest that such a delay should lead to a setting aside of the conviction itself. He sought to rely on Darmalingum, but that should not be relied upon in this case. It was the duty of each contracting state to give effect to the Convention. In this case, the national authority had acknowledged in a sufficiently clear way its failure to meet the reasonable time requirement and had afforded redress by reducing the sentence.
Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Lord Steyn, Lord Hope of Craighead and Lord Scott of Foscote
Times 23-Jul-2002, [2002] UKPC D2, [2004] 1 AC 441 (PC)
PC, PC, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 6.1
CitedDyer v Watson and Burrows PC 29-Jan-2002
Parties challenged the compliance of proceedings with the convention where there had been considerable delay.
Held: The reasonable detention provision (article 5(3)) and the reasonable time requirement (article 6(1)) conferred free-standing . .
CitedBunkate v The Netherlands ECHR 26-May-1993
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Case not struck out of the list; Violation of Art. 6-1; Pecuniary damage – claim rejected; Non-pecuniary damage – claim rejected . .
DistinguishedDarmalingum 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 . .
DistinguishedFlowers 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 . .
CitedEckle 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 by:
CitedRegina v Ashton, Lyons and Webber CACD 6-Dec-2002
The appellants had appealed sentences for conspiracy to murder. There had been an inordinate delay between leave to appeal having been granted, and the appeal being heard.
Held: The appellants’ rights had been infringed by the delay, and they . .
CitedRamawat Dosoruth v The State of Mauritius The Director of Public Prosecutions PC 21-Oct-2004
PC (Mauritius) The defendant challenged his conviction for having taken a bribe saying there had been an injustice, and seeking protection directly under the constitution. The evidence against him was that a . .
CitedMcInnes v Her Majesty’s Advocate SC 10-Feb-2010
The defendant complained that the prosecution had not disclosed the fact that a prosecution witness had convictions, and that had it been disclosed it would have undermined the prosecution. Other statements taken were not disclosed as had later . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 January 2021; Ref: scu.174419