Thursday, 13 March 2008

Taking Your case to the European Court of Human Rights

This is an excellent section written by UK Mens Movement.

Information on taking your case to ECHR, Strasbourg


The European Convention on Human Rights has been agreed by the United Kingdom Government, and is upheld by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
But there will be many members, and others, whose rights may have been violated by the Government. We refer primarily, and give examples from, matrimonial and family law, although there will be other areas in which men are affected.

Information is available online at European Court of Human Rights website. They have a good internal search engine to assist with finding cases similar to your own, identified by topic or by Article number.

Hardcopies of the Convention, and other documents, including case decisions etc., may be obtained from :

European Court of Human Rights
Council of Europe
670756 Strasbourg Cedex

tel : 00 33 88 41 20 18
fax : 00 33 88 41 27 92
00 33 88 41 27 30

You should ask for a copy of the following :

the Convention
the Rules of Court
application forms (3 copies are useful : 1 for your draft, 2 for your submission, and 3 a copy for your file) with accompanying notes
booklet on making an application.

Ask for at least one copy, preferably a few for other member's use, and for your own legal adviser whether that is a solicitor/barrister or not.

The Convention consists of a number of Articles, with additional Articles in the supplementary Protocols. The UK has ratified the Convention and Protocol No. 1 only. Listed below are those Articles which you will find of most interest.

You have to show that you have exhausted your domestic remedies. This may be taken to imply you should take your case up through the courts to the House of Lords, however if you can make argument that this would not address the violation, then you don't need to do this. Also, an on-going situation, for which no UK laws are available to remedy the violation, would also imply that you don't need to go up to the House of Lords.

You are asked to apply within 6 months of a decision by a domestic court - but note that in cases for which no UK laws are available, and in on-going situations, the 6 month limit does not apply.
The Court will ask you to write to them first, with brief information about your case. If they think that it is not obviously ill-founded, and that you are within the time limit, they can send you an Application form, which is usually supplemented with other documents. You will find a word processor invaluable, in not necessary, for this.

Don't be put off by the secretaries i.e. the administrative staff handling your case - they will try to put you off, and in fact have gone to underhand lengths to obstruct applications. You want a Judge to see your application.

If you get past the 'rapporteaur' stage, you can claim legal aid from Strasbourg. You won't get it in the UK, as the UK is your adversary. The Rules of Court (#91 - #96) give the regulations for this and explain that you are to complete a declaration on your income and assets, but no limits are given, simply that it is available if "the applicant has insufficient means to meet all or part of the costs entailed".

If the Court initially finds in your favour, it has the option to ask each party (yourself and the UK Government), to attempt to reach a 'friendly settlement'. This would imply that some negotiations in the UK will take place, although this may be in the form of a court hearing to look into the previous handling of the case. If this occurs, remember that you are essentially suing the UK government for human rights abuses, and that any settlement must be friendly to yourself not the government.

Most of the proceedings are done by post. They may culminate in a hearing in Strasbourg. However it is possible to complete a case without a hearing at all, and in fact Norman Scarth won a case without having to attend a hearing. Legal aid can cover the costs of attending a hearing.
The Court has 'secretaries' who are equivalent to the 'clerks of the court' in the UK. These secretaries have a brief to prevent cases reaching the judges. When they tell you that your case 'seems to have little prospect of success' or use other such statement, ignore this, and ask for it to be put forward and registered as a formal case with a case number. Be very firm with them. Norman Scarth had letters from the secretaries telling him that his case had little chance. He later won his case without even a hearing.
Please note that all domestic remedies have to be exhausted eg the Human Rights Act 1998.


Anonymous said...

In my case I have wasted 7 years trying to obtain justice, first from the Court system in UK over a false will the solicitors colluded together to ensure my case was lost and giving false evidence and stating I was ou to time. It was not until I went to the Costs Court and received a bill of costs for the indeminty costs I incurred due to the solicitors tampering with evidence and giving the Court a litany of lies [borne out by the Bill of costs I received]. Too late to assist me. I complained to the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulatory body and was told they could not act until I took the solicitors to court. After walking the Streets of London and Croydon trying to get a solicitor to take on my case and get Legal Aid [the solicitors had ensured I lost every penny by their false witnesses out of time with my evidence in their possession] - finally after a harrowing time trying to get the Law Society to make sense someone let it be known the society had a panel of solicitors who sat on negligence. This did not come lightly it took me 4 months. I reside in Australia, the Judge put me into the streets in UK a friend of my mother's took me in off the street and I was expected to deal with Appeals the Law Society in this situation and get a further court case of Negligence - finally I was put in front of a solicitor on their negligence panel who eventually took my case and got Legal Aid, but did nothing for months nor did the Legal Aid, I had to go to the Ombudsman to get them to act.

After 5 years of non event but many lettes, two experts required to prove the will was a forgery and did one being highly recommended by EWI and QC James Badenoch. My solicitor from the Law Society refused to take the matter further getting another expert recommended by the expert who had caused the problems in the first place by giving a flawed statement, it would was apparent later this was totally necessary as my solicitors had not made application for attending the Courts and required a scapegoat.
I was brought out from Australia for the trial [I am a pensioner] told in June "We were ready to go to Court" to find on arrival not a thing had been done. There was no bundle from either party placed into the courts or to each other as the day prior to the trial I had attended my solicitors office to pick up my evidence to defend myself, as the day previously they received a negative 'letter of advice' from the expert. Later I discovered a previous letter had been sent that day, the expert stating he could not act as he had insufficient evidence. then gave this letter - it was necessary or the Barrister and Solicitor would have had to attend court without funding. My evidence had been given to the other party and false letters were placed into evidence stating I was late.
The Bill of costs however showed that not only was my list of disclosure put into the other party on time, they were in receipt of my evidence on time and were busy discussing it in chambers with the QC. Months later the Claimant has witnesses never heard of prior to the month before trial appear all being able to negate my witnesss statements in some way or other. The judge herself stated that a Witness gave such close evidence as to my witnesses statements she must be an honest person [she had been given access to all my witnesses statements prior to revising her own] there are laws against this but one needs to know how to fight lawyers.

The Law Society is totally lax and now refusing to deal with my complaints against the solicitors stating I am out of time. They know fully well they had placed me in the hands of one of their own solicitors who was allegedly dealing with the case. Was I supposed to continue to complaint to them at the same time.

The letter I have just received from the Legal Services Ombudsman states that I had to continue to correspond about my complaint within three months and to complain to them. How was I to do this. The matter was supposed to be being dealt with by one of their own solicitors and they were aware of this. Are these associations made to hide he illegal activities of solicitors, it most certainly looks like that to me.

They changed my witness statements, put statements into court said to be by me. Told the court I was late [Bill of Costs show it was the other party who were late and my solicitor assisted the charade by putting correspondence in which stated this].

How is a litigant in person supposed to get Justice. I have looked at the European courts of Justice, but I have no money to get lawyers etc. What is one to do to get Justice? To stop the Law Society allowing solicitors to act with deceit and deception misleading the courts to get paid?

Help! Help! Help! Is there anybody out there that can fight this?
There is a new law re Fraud 2006. I do believe the Law Society can come under this umbrella by aiding and abetting a felony as an Office.


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