Reeves v Norway: ECHR 8 Jul 2004

The accused had been tried in the criminal courts for arson and the insurers who had paid out after the fire had been joined as civil parties to claim compensation from her. The standard of proof differed between the two decisions required. She was convicted at trial but on appeal her conviction for arson was quashed, on the grounds that there was not the specific majority of appeal judges which was required by local law before it could be upheld. The award of damages to the insurers was however upheld, since enough of the judges agreed that arson had been proved against her on the balance of probabilities. The Strasbourg court held that there was no infringement of article 6(2). But this time it made the assumption that article 6(2) applied to the insurers’ claim. It also found that the judgment of one judge who acquitted the appellant of the crime but found that on the balance of probabilities ‘there was a clear probability that the defendant is guilty of setting the fire as described in the indictment’ was at risk of infringing article 6(2) and could be saved from doing so only by treating the choice of words as ‘an unfortunate slip’ rather than as an affirmation imputing criminal liability for arson.

European Convention on Human Rights 6(2)
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedHallam, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice SC 30-Jan-2019
These appeals concern the statutory provisions governing the eligibility for compensation of persons convicted of a criminal offence where their conviction is subsequently quashed (or they are pardoned) because of the impact of fresh evidence. It . .

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Human Rights

Updated: 05 January 2022; Ref: scu.670806