European Court of Human Rights - case of Edwards v. the United Kingdom (1992) (excerpts)

European Court of Human Rights - case of Edwards v. the United Kingdom (1992) (excerpts)

(...)

34. In so doing, the Court must consider the proceedings as a whole

including the decision of the appellate court (see, amongst other

authorities, the Helmers v. Sweden judgment of 29 October 1991,

Series A no. 212, p. 15, para. 31). Moreover it is not within the

province of the European Court to substitute its own assessment of the

facts for that of the domestic courts and, as a general rule, it is for

these courts to assess the evidence before them. The Court's task is

to ascertain whether the proceedings in their entirety, including the

way in which evidence was taken, were fair (see, inter alia, the Vidal

v. Belgium judgment of 22 April 1992, Series A no. 235-B, pp. 32-33,

para. 33).

(...)

36. The Court considers that it is a requirement of fairness under

paragraph 1 of Article 6 (art. 6-1), indeed one which is recognised

under English law, that the prosecution authorities disclose to the

defence all material evidence for or against the accused and that the

failure to do so in the present case gave rise to a defect in the trial

proceedings.


However, when this was discovered, the Secretary of State,

following an independent police investigation, referred the case to the

Court of Appeal which examined the transcript of the trial including

the applicant's alleged confession and considered in detail the impact

of the new information on the conviction (see paragraphs 11-14 above).