brill.nl/eccl © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/157181709X429132 Pre-Trial Detention: The Presumption of Innocence and Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights Cannot and Does Not Limit its Increasing Use Lonneke Stevens* Vakgroep Strafrecht & Criminologie, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands 1. Introduction These days the use of pre-trial detention in Europe seems to be ever increasing. This is in spite of the fact that the the presumption of innocence tells authorities to be restrictive in pre-detaining suspects. It also seems contrary to the starting point of the European Court of Human Rights. Basing itself on the presumption of innocence the Court holds that a suspect should await his trial in freedom. For obvious reasons, the presumption of innocence and the European case-law are often invoked to either state that today’s pre-trial detention practices are in violation of both presumption and case-law or to say that pre-trial detention practice should take them more into account. In this article I am concerned with the question whether the presumption of innocence and the case-law of the European Court really make an argument against all too enthousiastic use of pre-trial detention. I will answer that question in the
European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2009
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