Delayed access to a lawyer : the Court confirms and clarifies its case law
Assistante à l’Université catholique de Louvain
Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la déviance et la pénalité (C.R.I.D.&P.)
13 septembre 2016 - Cour eur. dr. h., Gde Ch., Ibrahim e.a. c. Royaume-Uni
Although the European Court of Human Rights requires that access to a lawyer should be provided as from the first interrogation of a suspect by the police, this right of access to a lawyer is not absolute. In the Salduz v. Turkey case, the Court already admitted that the right to legal assistance can reasonably be restricted when there are compelling reasons for doing so. However, the scope of these restrictions and their consequences for the fairness of the procedure had still to be clarified. The Ibrahim case offered the Court the opportunity to do so, first in Chamber, and then in Grand Chamber. This paper analyses the main lessons that can be learnt from the Grand Chamber’s judgment of 13 September 2016.