Wednesday, March 31, 2010

UK Loses at ECHR

Thanks to the excellent CrimeLine for reporting the case of Allen v United Kingdom, (30 March 2010).

In this case the defendant was granted bail by a Deputy District Judge, but the prosecution exercised its right of appeal. The case went before a judge at Liverpool Crown Court and the defendant was denied the right to be present at the hearing.
Counsel had argued for the defendant to be present so that the Judge could consider her demeanour.

Held: Article 5(4) violated. EUR1,000 compensation awarded.

CrimeLine goes on to note that the judgment of Judge Bonello is particularly interesting, in view of the current pilots of 'Virtual Courts' in which defendants appear only on a videolink rather than in person. This may grind to a halt if the ECHR rules against defendants being denied the right to appear in person.

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