Van Marcke v Belgium, UN Human Rights Committee (2000) (excerpts)

Van Marcke v Belgium, UN Human Rights Committee Communication 904/2000 (excerpts)


8.3 With regard to the author's claim that his right to equal access to information was violated by the courts' refusal to add the fiscal file to the criminal file, the Committee notes that the Court and the author had access to all documents used in the criminal case against him, and that the fiscal file did not constitute the basis of the prosecutor's case before the courts. The fact that information supplied by the fiscal authorities alerted the prosecutor to lines of inquiry for independent investigations did not require that the fiscal file be made part of the prosecution's case.. The Committee observes that the right to a fair hearing contained in article 14, paragraph 1, does not in itself require that the prosecution bring before the court all information it reviewed in preparation of a criminal case, unless the failure to make the information available to the courts and the accused would amount to a denial of justice, such as by withholding exonerating evidence. The Committee notes that the author has made no claim that anything contained in the fiscal file would have been exculpatory. In the circumstances of the instant case, the Committee finds that the information before it does not show that the refusal of the courts to join the fiscal file to the criminal case hampered the author's right to defence or otherwise amounted to a violation of his right to fair hearing.