European Court of Human Rights - case of Assanidze v. Georgia (2004) (excerpts)

European Court of Human Rights - case of Assanidze v. Georgia (2004) (excerpts)

181.  The Court reiterates that the execution of a judgment given by any court must be regarded as an integral part of the trial for the purposes of Article 6 (see, mutatis mutandis, Hornsby v. Greece cited above, pp. 510–11, § 40; Burdov v. Russia, no. 59498/00, §§ 34 and 35, ECHR 2002-III; and Jasiuniene v. Lithuania, no. 41510/98, § 27, 6 March 2003).

182.  However, the guarantes afforded by Article 6 of the Convention would be illusory if a Contracting State’s domestic legal or administrative system allowed a final, binding judicial decision to acquit to remain inoperative to the detriment of the person acquitted. It would be inconceivable that paragraph 1 of Article 6, taken together with paragraph 3, should require a Contracting State to take positive measures with regard to anyone accused of a criminal offence (see, among other authorities, Barberà, Messegué and Jabardo v. Spain, judgment of 6 December 1988, Series A no. 146, pp. 33-34, § 78) and describe in detail procedural guarantees afforded to litigants – proceedings that are fair, public and expeditious – without at the same time protecting the implementation of a decision to acquit delivered at the end of those proceedings. Criminal proceedings form an entity and the protection afforded by Article 6 does not cease with the decision at first instance (see, mutatis mutandis, Belziuk v. Poland, judgment of 25 March 1998, Reports 1998-II, p. 570, § 37).