Substantive and Procedural Criminal Law Protection of Human Rights in the Law of the European Convention on Human Rights


This article seeks to examine and explain the interaction between the substantive and procedural aspects of criminal law protection of human rights in the law of the European Convention of Human Rights. Noting certain theoretical and conceptual lacunae that arise in this context, the article suggests the most appropriate solution for the assessment of the substantive-procedural relationship from the perspective of legal theory and the European Court of Human Rights’ case-law. It submits, in particular, that it is always necessary to examine both aspects—substantive and procedural—of the same right and that the procedural aspect should be given primacy both in terms of the order of examination and inferences to be drawn on the question of observance of human rights by states.