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Fitness to Stand Trial: A General Principle of European Criminal Law?

Authors:

Liselotte van den Anker ,

Utrecht University School of Law
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Lydia Dalhuisen,

Utrecht University School of Law
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Marije Stokkel

Utrecht University School of Law
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Abstract

This article reflects on whether the principle of fitness to stand trial, which follows from Article 6 ECHR, should be incorporated as a general principle in European criminal law. The notion of fitness to stand trial seems to be generally accepted in both common law and civil law systems. In Section 2 the practices in both law systems will be dealt with. In order to make sure that effective participation, and thereby fitness to stand trial, is guaranteed, the ECtHR demands that Contracting States take positive measures. An elaborated analysis of the case law of the ECtHR is provided in Section 3. Building on the ECtHR's case law, in Section 4 the authors will elaborate how general principles of European criminal law are established and whether fitness to stand trial can be regarded as such. Finally, in Section 5 an answer will be given to the following question: Can fitness to stand trial be regarded as a general principle of European criminal law?
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.174
How to Cite: van den Anker, L., Dalhuisen, L. & Stokkel, M., (2011). Fitness to Stand Trial: A General Principle of European Criminal Law?. Utrecht Law Review. 7(3), pp.120–136. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.174
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Published on 14 Oct 2011.

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