Sánchez and Clares v Spain, UN Human Rights Committee (2004) (excerpts)

Sánchez and Clares v Spain, UN Human Rights Committee Communication 1332/2004 (excerpts)


7.2 Article 14, paragraph 5, of the Covenant stipulates that everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law. The Committee points out that the expression "according to law" is not intended to leave the very existence of a right of review to the discretion of the States parties. (4) On the contrary, what must be understood by "according to law" is the modalities by which the review by a higher tribunal is to be carried out. Article 14, paragraph 5, not only guarantees that the judgement will be placed before a higher court, as happened in the authors' case, but also that the conviction will undergo a second review, which was not the case for the authors. Although a person acquitted at first instance may be convicted on appeal by the higher court, this circumstance alone cannot impair the defendant's right to review of his or her conviction and sentence by a higher court. (5) The Committee accordingly concludes that there has been a violation of article 14, paragraph 5, of the Covenant with regard to the facts submitted in the communication.