Blog
mobile arrow bivonas

Legal Minds

20 August 2015 / by / in ,

Procrastination is the thief of time.

Mr Justice Jeremiah Harman kept a farmer who had been bankrupted by a confidence trickster waiting for 20 months before giving his judgment.  This was roundly condemned by Lord Justice Peter Gibson:

Conduct like this weakens public confidence in the whole judicial process. Left unchecked I would be ultimately subversive of the rule of law. Delays on this scale cannot and will not be tolerated.”

The Saville enquiry into Bloody Sunday lasted 12 years, costing £400 million.

The Chilcot enquiry is now being criticised for running 6 years with no end in sight.

But how long is too long in relation to legal proceedings? When is justice delayed, justice denied?

Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees minimum rights for a fair trial, but there are no clear guidelines as to when a delay in the process becomes abusive. An old report by the European Commission may serve as  rule of thumb. The report provides a summary table of cases decided by the ECtHR by case type.

Procrastination is the thief of time v2

 

Share on LinkedIn View John's profile

John Bechelet

John specialises in commercial and civil fraud litigation. Admitted as a solicitor in 1983, John worked in private practice and in-house for a leading life assurance company before establishing Bivonas with Antony Brown in 1997. John has extensive experience in a wide range of courts and tribunals including the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Divisional Court. He has been involved in a number of important reported cases.