The European route
Reader comment on: "A Black Day for Austria"
Submitted by Nick, Dec 27, 2011 04:09
The Austrian court may think they're something, but the case can be brought before a European court. And there are several routes Elisabeth can take in order to rectify this. Under Article 6 (3) (a) anyone who is charged with a crime has the right to be informed promptly and in detail the nature and cause of the charge against them.
So if the charge against Elisabeth was the denigration of religious beliefs - which beliefs, exactly? This is not a trivial matter. One can only be found guilty of the specific charge made - not another one. Making a vague charge, without sufficient detail, and then hoping something specific comes up in the course of the trial is not how to provide a fair and public hearing.
There's also the matter of everyone being entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time (Article 6 (1)). There have (apparently) been several cases brought under this point of law - and the Austrian judge has already, so I gather, said that Elisabeth's case has not been carried out within a reasonable time. So there may be a possibility of making that argument.
And that's just the first two possible arguments that come to mind regarding Article 6. There are several more that can be made on Elisabeth's behalf regarding Article 9 and, of course, Article 10. The game's not over yet.
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