Terrón v Spain, UN Human Rights Committee (2002) (excerpts)

Terrón v Spain, UN Human Rights Committee Communication 1073/2002 (excerpts)

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7.4 The State party contends that in situations such as the author's, if an individual is tried by the highest ordinary criminal court, the guarantee set out in article 14, paragraph 5, of the Covenant does not apply; the absence of a right to review by a higher tribunal is offset by the fact of being tried by the highest court, and this situation is common in many States parties to the Covenant. 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 "according to law" is not intended to mean that the very existence of a right to review is left to the discretion of the States parties. Although the State party's legislation provides in certain circumstances for the trial of an individual, because of his position, by a higher court than would normally be the case, this circumstance alone cannot impair the defendant's right to review of his conviction and sentence by a court. 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.