The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a team, who may or may not be JPs, but all of whom are interested in the Magistrates' Courts.

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.