QLTS School Question Of The Week – Human Rights

A car was photographed by a speed camera. As is standard practice for those caught in this way, the car’s occupants - a driver and a passenger - were sent a form by the police asking them to identify who was driving the vehicle at the time.

Which is the best advice to the car’s occupants of their rights, if any, as to any breach of their rights that may have occurred under the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention)?

  1. Both of the car’s occupants might claim a breach of their rights to liberty, which includes the privilege against self-incrimination.
  2. Both of the car’s occupants might claim a breach of their rights to no punishment without law, which includes the privilege against self-incrimination.
  3. The passenger, but not the driver, might claim a breach of the right to a fair hearing, which includes the privilege against self-incrimination.
  4. The driver, but not the passenger, might claim a breach of the right to a fair hearing, which includes the privilege against self-incrimination.
  5. Both of the car’s occupants might claim a breach of their rights to a fair hearing, which includes the privilege against self-incrimination.

E is correct. The right to a fair hearing, enshrined in both domestic law and Article 6 of the Convention, includes the privilege against self-incrimination. Neither the driver nor the passenger are identifiable. Both parties are suspects and could face being prosecuted for this offence. A police request for information about who was driving the vehicle breaches the Convention, which gives suspects the right not to incriminate themselves. Therefore, both the driver and passenger are afforded this right.

 Lead case: R v Chauhan & Hollingsworth (2000).
 Statute; rule; constitution: Article 6 ECHR.