Porras v Netherlands: ECHR 18 Jan 2000

The applicant was convicted of intentionally importing cocaine and he complained that the burden of proof had been reversed by imposing on him an obligation, which he found impossible to discharge, to prove that he was not and could not have been aware that persons unknown to him had hidden a significant quantity of the drug in his luggage. The Court rejected this complaint, holding that no irrebuttable presumption of guilt had been applied. Although accepting a normal assumption that a person who packs his own luggage and takes it with him knows of the contents, the Dutch court had had regard to the possibility that this might not be so, had considered all the circumstances, had weighed all the evidence and had not therefore relied automatically on any presumption.


Unreported, 18 January 2000, 49226/99


Human Rights

Cited by:

CitedSheldrake v Director of Public Prosecutions; Attorney General’s Reference No 4 of 2002 HL 14-Oct-2004
Appeals were brought complaining as to the apparent reversal of the burden of proof in road traffic cases and in cases under the Terrorism Acts. Was a legal or an evidential burden placed on a defendant?
Held: Lord Bingham of Cornhill said: . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.218815