PS v Germany: ECHR 20 Dec 2001

The applicant had been convicted of sexual abuse of a child. The evidence against him consisted of a statement made by the child’s mother about what her daughter had told her, and evidence by a police officer who had questioned the daughter shortly after the offence. The daughter was not available to be questioned by the Court or on behalf of the defendant. On appeal, the Regional Court ordered a psychological assessment of the daughter’s credibility. The expert reported that her statements were credible. Her parents refused to bring her to the Appeal Court for questioning. The appeal was dismissed.
Held: These procedures could not ‘be considered as having enabled the defence to challenge the evidence of (the daughter), reported in Court by third persons, one of them a close relative’ and accordingly held that there had been a violation of article 6: ‘All the evidence must normally be produced at a public hearing, in the presence of the accused, with a view to adversarial argument. There are exceptions to this principle, but they must not infringe the rights of the defence. As a general rule, the accused must be given an adequate and proper opportunity to challenge and question a witness against him, either when he makes his statement or at a later stage’.

(2001) 36 EHRR 1139, [2001] ECHR 875, 33900/96, [2001] ECHR 884
Worldlii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 6
Human Rights
Cited by:
CitedGrant v The Queen PC 16-Jan-2006
(Jamaica) The defendant appealed his conviction for murder saying that the admission of an unsworn statement by one witness and the non-admission of another similar statement who did not either attend court was unconstitutional. He shot the victim . .
CitedRegina v Davis (Iain); Regina v Ellis, Regina v Gregory, Regina v Simms, Regina v Martin CACD 19-May-2006
The several defendants complained at the use at their trials of evidence given anonymously. The perceived need for anonymity arose because, from intimidation, the witnesses would not be willing to give their evidence without it.
Held: The . .
CitedRegina v Davis HL 18-Jun-2008
The defendant had been tried for the murder of two men by shooting them at a party. He was identified as the murderer by three witnesses who had been permitted to give evidence anonymously, from behind screens, because they had refused, out of fear, . .
CitedAl-Khawaja v The United Kingdom; Tahery v The United Kingdom ECHR 20-Jan-2009
Each complainant said that in allowing hearsay evidence to be used against them at their trials, their article 6 human rights had been infringed. In the first case the complainant had died before trial but her statement was admitted.
Held: In . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Criminal Practice

Updated: 13 January 2022; Ref: scu.167075