Ibrahim and Others v. the United Kingdom (Applications nos. 50541/08, 50571/08, 50573/08 and 40351/09)

A selection of key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.

(g) Relevant factors for the fairness assessment
274. Having regard to the fact that a criminal trial generally involves a complex interplay of different aspects of criminal procedure, it is often artificial to try and categorise a case as one which should be viewed from the perspective of one particular Article 6 right or another. As noted above (see paragraph 254), complaints concerning a failure to respect the express or implied Article 6 rights at the investigation stage in criminal proceedings will often crystallise at trial, when the evidence obtained is admitted. When examining the proceedings as a whole in order to assess the impact of procedural failings at the pre-trial stage on the overall fairness of the criminal proceedings, the following non-exhaustive list of factors, drawn from the Court’s case law, should, where appropriate, be taken into account:
(a) Whether the applicant was particularly vulnerable, for example, by reason of his age or mental capacity.
(b) The legal framework governing the pre-trial proceedings and the admissibility of evidence at trial, and whether it was complied with; where an exclusionary rule applied, it is particularly unlikely that the proceedings as a whole would be considered unfair.
(c) Whether the applicant had the opportunity to challenge the authenticity of the evidence and oppose its use.
(d) The quality of the evidence and whether the circumstances in which it was obtained cast doubt on its reliability or accuracy, taking into account the degree and nature of any compulsion.
(e) Where evidence was obtained unlawfully, the unlawfulness in question and, where it stems from a violation of another Convention Article, the nature of the violation found.
(f) In the case of a statement, the nature of the statement and whether it was promptly retracted or modified.
(g) The use to which the evidence was put, and in particular whether the evidence formed an integral or significant part of the probative evidence upon which the conviction was based, and the strength of the other evidence in the case.
(h) Whether the assessment of guilt was performed by professional judges or lay jurors, and in the case of the latter the content of any jury directions.
(i) The weight of the public interest in the investigation and punishment of the particular offence in issue.
(j) Other relevant procedural safeguards afforded by domestic law and practice.


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