Remli v France: ECHR 23 Apr 1996

Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Preliminary objection allowed (non-exhaustion) (Art. 14+6); Preliminary objection rejected (non-exhaustion) (Art. 6); Preliminary objection rejected (out of time) (Art. 6); Violation of Art. 6; Lack of jurisdiction (injunction to State); Non-pecuniary damage – finding of violation sufficient; Costs and expenses partial award – domestic proceedings; Costs and expenses partial award – Convention proceedings
A juror in a trial had made racist remarks. D objected, but the court devclined to enquire further.
Held: ‘It is not for the Court to rule on . . . whether the racist remark attributed to the juror in question was actually made. It notes merely that Mrs M’s statement – which contained a serious allegation in the context of the case – was filed with the Assize Court by the applicant’s lawyers, who asked the Court to take formal note of it. The Court dismissed their application without even examining the evidence submitted to it, on the purely formal ground that it was ‘not able to take formal note of events alleged to have occurred out of its presence’. Nor did it order that evidence should be taken to verify what had been reported – and, if it was established, take formal note of it as requested by the defence – although it could have done so. Consequently, the applicant was unable either to have the juror in question replaced by one of the additional jurors or to rely on the fact in issue in support of his appeal on points of law. Nor could he challenge the juror, since the jury had been finally empanelled and no appeal lay against the Assize Court’s judgment other than on points of law. Like the Commission, the Court considers that article 6(1) of the Convention imposes an obligation on every national court to check whether, as constituted, it is ‘an impartial tribunal’ within the meaning of that provision where, as in the instant case, this is disputed on a ground that does not immediately appear to be manifestly devoid of merit. In the instant case, however, the Rhone Assize Court did not make any such check, thereby depriving Mr Remli of the possibility of remedying, if it proved necessary, a situation contrary to the requirements of the Convention. This finding, regard being had to the confidence which the courts must inspire in those subject to their jurisdiction, suffices for the Court to hold that there has been a breach of article 6(1).’
16839/90, (1996) 22 EHRR 253, [1996] ECHR 18
Worldlii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 6.1
Human Rights
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Connor and another; Regina v Mirza HL 22-Jan-2004
The defendants sought an enquiry as to events in the jury rooms on their trials. They said that the secrecy of a jury’s deliberations did not fit the human right to a fair trial. In one case, it was said that jurors believed that the defendant’s use . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 10 October 2021; Ref: scu.165411