The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private on 12 March
1986, the following members being present:

                    MM. C.A. NØRGAARD, President
                        G. SPERDUTI
                        J.A. FROWEIN
                        E. BUSUTTIL
                        G. JÖRUNDSSON
                        G. TENEKIDES
                        S. TRECHSEL
                        B. KIERNAN
                        A.S. GÖZÜBÜYÜK
                        A. WEITZEL
                        H.G. SCHERMERS
                        G. BATLINER
                        J. CAMPINOS
                        H. VANDENBERGHE
                   Mrs  G.H. THUNE
                   Sir  Basil HALL

                    Mr. J. RAYMOND, Deputy Secretary to the Commission

Having regard to Art. 25 of the Convention for the Protection of Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Art. 25);

Having regard to the application introduced on 12 May 1983 by
J.M. against the United Kingdom and Ireland and
registered on 15 May 1985 under file No. 10386/83;

Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 40 of the Rules of
Procedure of the Commission;

Having deliberated;

Decides as follows:

THE FACTS

The applicant is a British citizen born in 1954 and is currently
serving a sentence of imprisonment.  The facts as submitted by the
applicant may be summarised as follows.  The applicant is represented
before the Commission by Mr. Alastair Logan, solicitor.

The applicant was arrested in his home in Belfast on 24 January 1982.
He was transferred to the custody of the Anti-Terrorist Squad of New
Scotland Yard and transferred to London, where on 28 January 1982 he
was charged with conspiracy to cause explosions in the United Kingdom
between November 1978 and June 1979.

The applicant was granted legal aid for representation at the
committal proceedings and at his trial in the Central Criminal Court.

On 6 September 1982, one week before the committal proceedings, the
applicant's solicitor learned that some of the exhibits to be used in
support of the prosecution case were in the control of the Court of
Criminal Appeal in Dublin.  These exhibits had been produced
originally at the committal proceedings against G.T. who was
arrested and committed on similar charges in London in 1980.  Mr. T.
escaped from prison whilst on remand and was later apprehended in
March 1982 in Ireland.  Mr. T. was subsequently tried by the
Special Criminal Court in Dublin and given a sentence of 10 years for
possession of explosives.  It appears that the Director of Public
Prosecutions gave the exhibits into the possession of the Irish
authorities.

Mr. T. appealed against conviction and sentence on 10 July 1982
and according to the legislation applicable to appeals, the exhibits
produced at the trial entered the custody of the Irish Court of
Criminal Appeal in Dublin.

On 5 August 1982, the Director of Public Prosecutions of the United
Kingdom made an application to the Irish Appeal Court for the release
of the exhibits for use in the committal proceedings against the
applicant.  Permission was given and the Director of Public
Prosecutions gave an undertaking to return the exhibits forthwith on
conclusion of the committal proceedings.

The applicant applied to the Divisional Court of the Queens Bench
Division for an order of Prohibition to halt the committal proceedings
and for a declaration that the prosecution had a duty to preserve and
retain the exhibits and that the Director of Public Prosecutions
should not be allowed to permit the exhibits to be removed from the
jurisdiction of the English courts without the authorisation of the
courts.

The applicant's solicitors were concerned that they would have no
opportunity of forensically examining the exhibits before their return
to Ireland, where they might conceivably be lost or damaged.

Mr. Justice McCullough granted the Prohibition Order on
14 September 1982 and gave leave for the applicant to pursue
his application before the full Divisional Court.

The application was heard before the full Divisional Court on
8 October 1982.  The court refused the declaration and discharged the
Prohibition Order.  The court was satisfied that the Director of
Public Prosecutions had taken the utmost care of the exhibits, which
had been sealed and placed in the custody of a specially designated
officer on transfer to and from Ireland.  The court was of the view
that the Irish Appeal Court could be relied upon to deal
sympathetically with the problems caused by the overlapping
proceedings.  The Director of Public Prosecutions also undertook to
apply to the Irish Court for access to the exhibits for the applicant
and a modification of his undertaking.

The applicant appealed unsuccessfully to the Court of Appeal on
12 November 1982.  He also applied for legal aid for representation at
the hearing of the application of the Director of Public Prosecutions
at the Irish Court.

The applicant's solicitors made inquiries from the Law Society for
England and Wales, but were informed by a letter of 19 November 1982
that there were no facilities within the existing legal aid scheme to
enable the applicant to be represented before the Irish Court.  His
solicitors also approached the Registrar of the Irish Court who
confirmed that there were no legal aid facilities available to the
applicant in Ireland in these circumstances.

On 29 November 1982, the applicant's solicitors attended the hearing
at the Irish Court with an Irish lawyer, although there was no
prospect of remuneration.  They argued that the exhibits should remain
in the United Kingdom and that it was vital for the purposes of a fair
trial no examination of them should take place, without expert
representatives of the applicant being present.  The exhibits were
over fifty in number and consisted of such items as photos, maps,
newspaper wrappings and objects with fingerprints evidence of them.
They wished to ensure that no exhibits were carelessly contaminated
such that, for example, an article with the applicant's fingerprints
on was also found to have traces of explosives.  Mr. T.'s
solicitors had filed an affidavit indicating there may have already
been cross-contamination and that further examination would risk
increased deterioration in the evidential value of the exhibits,
though the applicant's solicitors later discovered no examination of
the exhibits did take place in Ireland.

The Irish Court ordered that the exhibits remain in the custody of the
Director of Public Prosecutions until further order and that the
Director of Public Prosecutions undertake to allow the applicant and
Mr. T. reasonable facilities for scientific examination of the
exhibits and to inform either party when such an examination was to
take place.

The applicant was eventually tried at the Central Criminal Court on
26 May 1983 and sentenced to 17 years imprisonment.  Beyond the fact
that the exhibits were available at the trial, it is not known what
role they played in the applicant's conviction.  He appealed
unsuccessfully, his appeal being dismissed by the full Court of Appeal
on 11 December 1984.

COMPLAINTS

The applicant complains that the Government of the United Kingdom and
the Government of Ireland, in promulgating legislation enabling
persons accused of committing crimes in the United Kingdom to be tried
in Ireland and vice versa, failed to protect his rights under the
Convention in that he had no locus standi to appear before the Irish
Court and that he was not entitled to legal aid for these proceedings.

The applicant complains that the legislation enabling persons accused
of committing crimes in the United Kingdom to be tried in Ireland and
vice versa, fails to protect his rights in that he had no locus standi
as a party before the Irish Court of Appeal and in that he was not
entitled to legal aid in respect of those proceedings.

In particular, he submits that since he had no right of audience
before the Irish Court he was denied the right to "a fair and public
hearing ... by an independent and impartial tribunal established by
law" under Art. 6, para. 1 (Art. 6-1) and that since he was unable to
receive free legal aid, there was a breach of Art. 6, para. 3,
sub-para. c (Art. 6-3-c).

He further submits that the removal of the exhibits abroad out of the
control of English courts and the refusal of the English courts to
make any orders in relation to the exhibits hampered his defence in
breach of Art. 6, para. 3, sub-para. b (Art. 6-3-b).
The applicant also complains of a breach of Art. 6, para. 1 (Art. 6-1)
in that if he had been tried within a reasonable time he would have
had the opportunity to cross-examine a scientific officer, who died on
30 November 1982, enabling his written statement to be used as
evidence.  The applicant further submits that the circumstances
described above severely hampered his obtaining the examination and
attendance of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as the
witnesses against him in breach of Art. 6, para. 3, sub-para. d
(Art. 6-3-d).

THE LAW

1.      The applicant complains that the legislation promulgated by
the Governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland to enable those
accused of committing crimes in the United Kingdom to be tried in
Ireland and vice versa failed to secure him the right of audience
before the Irish court seised of possession of the exhibits in
contravention of Art. 6, para. 1 of the Convention (Art. 6-1), and did
not provide him with legal aid to litigate before that court in
contravention of Art. 6, para. 3, sub-para. c (Art. 6-3-c).

Art. 6, para. 1 of the Convention (Art. 6-1) guarantees that in the
determination of a person's civil rights and obligations or of any
criminal charge against him he is entitled to a fair and public
hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial
tribunal established by law.  Art. 6, para. 3, sub-para. c
(Art. 6-3-c) guarantees a person charged with a criminal offence the
right to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his
own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal
assistance, to be given it free where the interests of justice so
require.

However insofar as the applicant complains of a violation of the
Convention by Ireland, the Commission recalls that the proceedings
before the Irish court concerning the use of the exhibits did not lead
to a determination of the applicant's civil rights and obligations and
he was not charged with an offence before that court.  Accordingly the
complaints as submitted do not disclose any violation of Art. 6,
paras. 1 or 3, sub-para. c (Art. 6-1, art. 6-3-c).  It follows that
this part of the application brought against Ireland is incompatible
ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention within the
meaning of Art. 27, para. 2 (Art. 27-2).

Insofar as this part of the application complains of a violation of
the Convention by the United Kingdom, legislation of the United
Kingdom cannot confer a right of audience in an Irish Court. Nor were
the proceedings in the Irish Court a part of the criminal proceedings
against the applicant in the English Court.  The proceedings before
the Irish Court were not concerned with the taking of evidence on
which the criminal charge against the applicant would be determined
but with the safeguarding and access to the exhibits. Accordingly,
Art. 6, para. 3, sub-para. c of the Convention (Art. 6-3-c) did not
require the United Kingdom authorities to give legal assistance to the
applicant to appear before the Irish Court.

It follows that insofar as this part of the application relates to the
responsibilities of the United Kingdom it too is incompatible ratione
materiae with the provisions of the Convention within the meaning of
Art. 27, para. 2 (Art. 27-2).

2.      The applicant complains also that he was hampered in this
preparation of his defence by the circumstances of the case.

It is true that Art. 6, para. 3, sub-para. b (Art. 6-3-b) guarantees
that a person charged with a criminal offence shall have adequate time
and facilities for the preparation of his defence.

However, the applicant was not charged with a criminal offence before
the Irish court and accordingly this complaint cannot disclose any
violation of Art. 6, para. 3, sub-para. b (Art. 6-3-b) on the part of
the Irish authorities.  This part of the complaint is therefore
incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention
within the meaning of Art. 27, para. 2 (Art. 27-2).

As regards the responsibilities of the English authorities, the
Commission recalls that the Irish court ordered the English DPP to
make available to the applicant adequate opportunity to inspect the
exhibits and to inform him if any other inspection was to take place.
The Commission also recalls that the Divisional Court of the Queens
Bench Division held that the English DPP had taken the utmost care of
the exhibits in the precautions taken in respect of their transfer to
and from Ireland.  There has been no allegation made by the applicant
that the exhibits did in fact suffer any contamination.

The Commission therefore finds on examination that this aspect of the
complaint as it has been submitted does not disclose any appearance of
a violation of the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention and
in particular in the above Article (Art. 6-3-b) by the English authorities.

It follows that this part of the application is manifestly ill-founded
within the meaning of Art. 27, para. 2 of the Convention (Art. 27-2).

3.      The applicant also complains in respect of the proceedings in
the English Courts he was prevented from obtaining the examination and
attendance of witnesses because of the delay before his trial during
which a police expert witness died.

It is true that Art. 6, para. 3, sub-para. d (Art. 6-3-d) guarantees
the right for a person charged with a criminal offence "to examine or
have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and
examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as
witnesses against him" and that Art. 6, para. 1 (Art. 6-1) guarantees
the right to the determination of charges within a reasonable time.

Insofar as the applicant makes the complaint of delay against the
Irish court, the Commission recalls that the Irish authorities were
not responsible for fixing the date of the applicant's trial on the
criminal charge and furthermore that the proceedings before the Irish
court did  not lead to a determination of the applicant's civil rights
and obligations and that he was not charged with a criminal offence.
Accordingly, this part of the complaint does not disclose any
violation of Art. 6 (Art. 6) and is incompatible ratione materiae
within the meaning of Art. 27, para. 2 (Art. 27-2).

Insofar as the applicant complains in respect of the proceedings in
England, the Commission recalls that the applicant had to wait from
24 January 1982 to 26 May 1983 to be tried and that the said witness died
on 30 November 1982.  However, having regard to the complexity of the
charges, the fact that the preparations for trial were unavoidably
delayed by the judicial review proceedings and by the exhibits being
under the jurisdiction of the Irish court, the Commission finds that
an examination of the case as it has been submitted by the applicant
does not disclose any appearance of a violation of the rights and
freedoms set out in the Convention and in particular of Art. 6,
para. 3, sub-para. d (Art. 6-3-d) read in conjunction with Art. 6,
para. 1 (Art. 6-1), by the Government of the United Kingdom.

It follows that this part of the application is manifestly ill-founded
within the meaning of Art. 27, para. 2 of the Convention (Art. 27-2).

For these reasons, the Commission

DECLARES THE APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE

Deputy Secretary to the Commission          President of the Commission

         (J. RAYMOND)                             (C.A. NØRGAARD)