Last Updated on April 24, 2019 by LawEuro
Communicated on 5 March 2019
Application no. 585/19
Rafael Hubertus Simon NELISSEN
against the Netherlands
lodged on 18 December 2018
SUBJECT MATTER OF THE CASE
The application concerns the question of whether the duration of the criminal proceedings taken against the applicant complied with the reasonable time requirement under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention and whether, on this point, he had an effective remedy within the meaning of Article 13 of the Convention.
The proceedings started on 24 April 2014 when the applicant was arrested on suspicion of assault, threat and stalking. On 27 July 2015 the Limburg Regional Court sitting in Maastricht convicted the applicant and sentenced him to 600 days imprisonment. On 7 February 2017, on appeal, the Court of Appeal quashed the impugned judgment of 27 July 2015 (different approach to the evidence), convicted the applicant and sentenced him to 600 days imprisonment. When it gave this judgment, it only made available the judgment in abridged form, i.e. it did not contain a statement of the contents of the means of evidence on which it had based the applicant’s conviction (see De Bruijn v. the Netherlands (dec.), no. 40801/98, 22 May 2001 under “Relevant domestic law”).
The applicant filed an appeal in cassation with the Supreme Court on 8 February 2017. Although, section 365a § 3 and section 415 of the Code of Criminal Procedure stipulates that the Court of Appeal will supplement, within four months, its abridged judgment with a statement of the contents of the means of evidence on which it had based the applicant’s conviction, this supplement was only made available on 4 January 2018. Exceeding this time-limit of four months is not as such sanctioned under domestic law. On 26 April 2018 the applicant submitted his complaints in cassation to the Supreme Court, including a complaint that, on account of the delay caused by the late submission of the supplement to the abridged judgment , there had been a violation of the reasonable time requirement under Article 6 § 1 of the Convention. On 28 August 2018 the Supreme Court declared the applicant’s appeal in cassation inadmissible, providing summary reasoning in application of section 80a of the Judiciary (Organisation) Act.
QUESTIONS tO THE PARTIES
1. Was the length of the criminal proceedings in the present case, in particular given the fact that eleven months passed between the date on which the appeal in cassation was filed and the date on which the complete judgment of the Court of Appeal was made available, in breach of the “reasonable time” requirement of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention?
2. Did the applicant have at his disposal an effective remedy, as required by Article 13 of the Convention in respect of his complaint of the length of the criminal proceedings?