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ECtHR / Application no. 27244/09 / Judgement

G. v France

Deciding Body type:
European Court of Human Rights
Deciding Body:
European Court of Human Rights (Fifth Section)
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

he applicant suffers from a chronic schizophrenic-type psychiatric disorder and is currently being held in a Marseilles hospital. In October 2005 the applicant was placed under judicial investigation for arson aggravated by constructive manslaughter. He was placed in pre-trial detention. In June 2006, his lawyer wrote to the investigating judge requesting the applicant's release, arguing that his client should be in hospital rather than in prison. The request was refused on the ground that it was apparent from the report drawn up by a psychiatric expert that a criminal penalty would not be inappropriate in the applicant's case and that pre-trial detention was the sole means of preventing pressure being put on the witnesses, ensuring that the accused remained at the disposal of the judicial authorities and putting an end to the disturbance to public order. In February 2007 the applicant was committed for trial before the Court. In November 2008 a psychiatric report concluded that, in spite of the severity of his disorder, the applicant was fit to stand trial. The Court sentenced him to ten years' imprisonment and found him civilly liable for the damage to the civil parties. But in September 2009, the Appeal Court found that the applicant lacked criminal responsibility. It ordered his compulsory admission to hospital. Relying on Article 3 and Article 6 § 1, the applicant complained of the conditions of his appearance before the Court and the Appeal Court. Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case: The Court held, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights and No violation of Article 6 (right to a fair trial) of the Convention. The Court held that France was to pay the applicant 10,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 5,000 in respect of costs and expenses FRC.