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R v DPP, ex parte Kebilene

[2000] 2 AC 326

Case summary last updated at 05/01/2020 19:27 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R v DPP, ex parte Kebilene

P sought judicial review because he was charged with an offence whose content contravened the presumption of innocence contained in art. 6(1) ECHR and he had a legitimate expectation that he would not be charged with an offence that infringed his ECHR rights. However HL held that he could have no legitimate expectation here since the wording of the charge was clear and unambiguously denied the presumption of innocence. 
Lord Hope: MoA wokrs for ECtHR because it doesn’t have as much local knowledge as domestic bodies on what may be “necessary” for example. This means that the protection offered by ECtHR will always be subsidiary to national systems of protection. IT means that enforcement of ECHR will not be uniform across all countries , but in the national courts ECHR rights should be seen as “fundamental principles rather than a mere set of rules”. Sometimes national courts should defer on democratic grounds, other times on expertise grounds, as with economic policy. However this will be unlikely where the rights are of “high constitutional importance” and where “the courts are especially well placed to assess the need for protection”. 

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