Resource bank

Assenov v Bulgaria (European Court of Human Rights)

Geographic relevance: Europe

Language: English

Data type: Legal citations

About this resource:

An individual had been charged with sixteen or more burglaries and was not released on bail because it was feared that he would re-offend if released. He ended up being held in pre-trial detention for 2 years.

The European Court ruled that he had been denied a “trial within a reasonable time” in violation of article 5(3) of the ECHR. Key reasons for the decision were that:

  • During one of the two years, the police and prosecutors took almost no action with the investigation, no new evidence was collected and Mr. Assenov was questioned only once.
  • Mr Assenov was a minor so it was especially important that the authorities displayed special diligence in ensuring that he was brought to trial within a reasonable time.

Online Access: View resource