Case of European Court of Human Rights, October 23, 1995 (case Gradinger v. Austria)
|Resolution Date:||October 23, 1995|
Violation of Art. 6-1 (access) Not necessary to examine Art. 6-1 (publicly) Preliminary objection rejected (reservation) Preliminary objection rejected (ratione temporis) Violation of P7-4 Costs and expenses partial award - domestic proceedings Costs and expenses partial award - Convention proceedings
Information Note on the Court’s case-law No.
Gradinger v. Austria - 15963/90
Access to court
Criminal and administrative criminal proceedings for causing death by negligence and driving under the influence of drink: Article 6 § 1 applicable; violation
[This summary is extracted from the Court’s official reports (Series A or Reports of Judgments and Decisions). Its formatting and structure may therefore differ from the Case-Law Information Note summaries.]
I. ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
Whether there was a "criminal charge"
Offences in issue and procedures followed: fell within administrative sphere but were nevertheless criminal in nature, as was reflected in the terminology - fine imposed had been accompanied by an order for committal to prison in the event of default.
Austria's reservation in respect of Article 5 of the Convention
Mentions only Article 5 and makes express reference solely to measures for the deprivation of liberty - in the instant case a substantive provision not specified in the reservation had been applied.
Conclusion: Article 6 § 1 applicable (unanimously).
Access to a tribunal
Constitutional Court: lacked "full jurisdiction".
Administrative Court: powers to be assessed in the light of the criminal nature of the case - when compatibility with Article 6 § 1 is being gauged, regard must be had to the complaints raised by the applicant as well as to the defining characteristics of a "judicial body that has full jurisdiction" - no power to quash in all respects, on questions of fact and law, the decision of the body below.
Conclusion: violation (unanimously).
Lack of a hearing and failure to take evidence from witnesses
Having regard to the foregoing conclusion, unnecessary to examine the complaint.
Conclusion: unnecessary to examine complaint (unanimously).
II. ARTICLE 4 OF PROTOCOL NO. 7
A. Reservation in respect of Article 4
No "brief statement" of the law said not to conform...
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