X v United Kingdom: ECHR 23 Mar 1972

(Commission) The applicant said that having been pressured into pleading guilty: ‘The Commission examined this complaint under Article 6 (1) (Art. 6-1) of the Convention which guarantees the right to a fair trial, and also under Article 6(2) (Art. 6-2) of the Convention, which provides that ‘Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law’.
The Commission notes that, under English criminal procedure, if a person pleads guilty there is no trial in the usual sense; if the judge is satisfied that the accused understands the effect of his plea his confession is recorded, and the subsequent proceedings are concerned only with the question of sentence.
The Commission, having examined this practice in the context of English criminal procedures and also the other systems among those States Parties to the Convention where a similar practice is found, is satisfied that the practice as such is not inconsistent with the requirements of Article 6(1) and (2) (Art. 6-1, 6-2) of the Convention. In arriving at this conclusion, the Commission has had regard to the rules under which the practice operates and in particular to the safeguards which are provided to avoid the possibility of abuse.’


Unreported, 23 March 1972, 5076/71


European Convention on Human Rights 6


Human Rights

Cited by:

CitedRevitt, Borg and Barnes v Director of Public Prosecutions Admn 8-Sep-2006
The defendants appealed against refusal of leave to withdraw their pleas of guilty. They argued that the current practice infringed their human rights.
Held: The magistrates had been correct not to allow the defendants to withdraw their pleas. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Criminal Practice

Updated: 14 May 2022; Ref: scu.244869