Article 47 - Right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial
Article 48 - Presumption of innocence and right of defence
Key facts of the case:
Request for a preliminary ruling from the Sąd Rejonowy dla Łodzi-Śródmieścia w Łodzi.
Reference for a preliminary ruling – Area of freedom, security and justice – Judicial cooperation in criminal matters – Mutual recognition – Financial penalties – Framework Decision 2005/214/JHA – Grounds for non-recognition and non-execution – Article 20(3) – Decision imposing a financial penalty – Observance of the rights of the defence – Notification of documents in a language not understood by the sentenced person – Translation of the essential elements of the decision.
28) Those fundamental rights include, first, the right to a fair hearing, which is an integral part of the right to effective judicial protection, and, second, the rights of the defence, enshrined, respectively, in the second paragraph of Article 47 and Article 48(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which, according to the Explanations relating to the charter (OJ 2007 C 303, p. 17), correspond to Article 6(1) and (3) ECHR, respectively.
29) As the Advocate General observes in point 75 of his Opinion, the Court has recognised that a road traffic offence constitutes a ‘criminal offence’ (see, to that effect, judgment of 22 June 2021, Latvijas Republikas Saeima (Penalty points), C‑439/19, EU:C:2021:504, paragraphs 86 to 93 and the case-law cited). Consequently, and as is apparent from the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights concerning Article 6 ECHR, which must be taken into consideration, by virtue of Article 52(3) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, for the purposes of interpreting the second paragraph of Article 47 and Article 48(2) thereof, proceedings relating to a financial penalty imposed for such an offence, including the stage prior to the trial stage, falls within the scope of Article 6(1) and (3) ECHR (see, to that effect, ECtHR, 19 October 2004, Falk v. Netherlands, CE:ECHR:2004:1019DEC006627301, and 20 October 2015, Dvorski v. Croatia, CE:ECHR:2015:1020JUD0025, § 76 and the case-law cited).
30) Thus, the addressees of decisions falling within the scope of Framework Decision 2005/214 are entitled to rely on the fundamental rights enshrined in the second paragraph of Article 47 and Article 48(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the authorities of the Member States must accordingly ensure that those rights are respected.