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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the role of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in interpreting the defense rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and other European legal systems. In particular, it considers one aspect of European Union Member States’ compliance with ECtHR case law: the rights of suspects and defendants under Article 6 ECHR. The chapter first discusses the right of a suspect to be informed about the accusation against him, the right to legal assistance at the early stages of the criminal process, the privilege against self-incrimination, and the right to examine adverse witnesses. It then explores how the European Court’s jurisprudence has been received by the legislation and judge-made law in France and Germany. It shows that Article 6 ECHR and the ECtHR’s jurisprudence on various clauses of that article exerted an influence on domestic laws, at least in France and Germany.

Keywords: defense rights, suspects, Article 6 ECHR, right to legal assistance

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