Case of European Court of Human Rights, July 29, 1998 (case Guérin v. France)

Resolution Date:July 29, 1998

Violation of Art. 6-1 Non-pecuniary damage - financial award Costs and expenses award - Convention proceedings


Information Note on the Court’s case-law No.

July 1998

Guérin v. France - 25201/94

Judgment 29.7.1998 [GC]

Article 6

Criminal proceedings

Article 6-1

Access to court

Fair hearing

Inadmissibility of appeal on points of law on ground that convicted defendant had not complied with warrants for his arrest: 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

Reference to Court’s case-law on right of access to a court.

Where an appeal on points of law is declared inadmissible solely because appellant has not surrendered to custody pursuant to judicial decision challenged in the appeal, which cannot be considered final, this ruling impairs very essence of the right of appeal – disproportionate burden imposed on appellant, upsetting fair balance that must be struck between legitimate concern to ensure that judicial decisions are enforced and right of access to Court of Cassation and exercise of rights of defence.

Crucial role of proceedings in cassation, which form a special stage of criminal proceedings whose consequences may prove decisive for accused.

In its Poitrimol judgment, the Court had held that “the inadmissibility of the appeal on points of law, on grounds connected...

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