Saidi v France: ECHR 20 Sep 1993

S had been convicted on the basis of the evidence of drug addicts and in the situation where there was no opportunity to confront the witness.
Held: ‘The court reiterates that the taking of evidence is governed primarily by the rules of domestic law, and that it is in principle for the national courts to assess the evidence before them. The court’s task under the Convention is to ascertain whether the proceedings in their entirety, including the way in which evidence was taken, were fair. All the evidence must normally be produced in the presence of the accused at a public hearing, with a view to adversarial argument. However, the use as evidence of statements obtained at the stage of the police enquiry and judicial investigation is not in itself inconsistent with Article 6(3)(d) and (1) provided that the right to the defence had been respected. As a rule these rights require that the defendant be given an adequate and proper opportunity to challenge and question the witness against him either when he was making a statement or at a later stage of the proceedings.’ However there had been a breach of Article 6 since the testimony constituted ‘the sole basis’ for the applicant’s conviction, and the lack of any confrontation had deprived the defendant in certain respects of ‘a fair trial’. The court recognised the difficulties of the fight against drug trafficking, but ‘such considerations cannot justify restricting to this extent the rights of the defence of everyone charged with a criminal offence.’
[1993] ECHR 39, 14647/89, (1993) 17 EHRR 251
Bailii, Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 6
Human Rights
Cited by:
CitedSellick and Sellick, Regina v CACD 14-Mar-2005
The defendants appealed convictions for murder saying that the court had had read to it the statements of four witnesses who refused to attend for fear, having been intimidated. Other witnesses had been unco-operative and had been treated by the . .
IllustrativeClingham (formerly C (a minor)) v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; Regina v Crown Court at Manchester Ex parte McCann and Others HL 17-Oct-2002
The applicants had been made subject of anti-social behaviour orders. They challenged the basis upon which the orders had been made.
Held: The orders had no identifiable consequences which would make the process a criminal one. Civil standards . .
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 06 January 2021; Ref: scu.165276