In the case of Silva Rocha v. Portugal (1),

        The European Court of Human Rights, sitting, in accordance with
Article 43 (art. 43) of the Convention for the Protection of
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention") and the
relevant provisions of Rules of Court A (2), as a Chamber composed of
the following judges:

        Mr  R. Ryssdal, President,
        Mr  L.-E. Pettiti,
        Mr  C. Russo,
        Mr  J. De Meyer,
        Mr  N. Valticos,
        Mr  S.K. Martens,
        Mr  I. Foighel,
        Mr  M.A. Lopes Rocha,
        Mr  P. Kuris,

and also of Mr H. Petzold, Registrar, and Mr P.J. Mahoney, Deputy
Registrar,

        Having deliberated in private on 29 June and on
26 October 1996,

        Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on the
last-mentioned date:
_______________
Notes by the Registrar

1.  The case is numbered 82/1995/588/674.  The first number is the
case's position on the list of cases referred to the Court in the
relevant year (second number).  The last two numbers indicate the
case's position on the list of cases referred to the Court since its
creation and on the list of the corresponding originating applications
to the Commission.

2.  Rules A apply to all cases referred to the Court before the entry
into force of Protocol No. 9 (P9) (1 October 1994) and thereafter only
to cases concerning States not bound by that Protocol (P9).  They
correspond to the Rules that came into force on 1 January 1983, as
amended several times subsequently.
_______________

PROCEDURE

1.      The case was referred to the Court by the Government of the
Portuguese Republic ("the Government") on 15 September 1995, within the
three-month period laid down by Article 32 para. 1 and Article 47 of
the Convention (art. 32-1, art. 47).  It originated in an application
(no. 18165/91) against Portugal lodged with the European Commission of
Human Rights ("the Commission") under Article 25 (art. 25) by a
Portuguese national, Mr Serafim da Silva Rocha on 28 June 1990.

        The Government's application referred to Articles 44 and 48
(art. 44, art. 48).  The object of the application was to obtain a
decision as to whether the facts of the case disclosed a breach by the
respondent State of its obligations under Article 5 para. 4 of the
Convention (art. 5-4).

2.      In response to the enquiry made in accordance with Rule 33
para. 3 (d) of Rules of Court A, the applicant stated that he wished
to take part in the proceedings and designated the lawyer who would
represent him (Rule 30).

3.      The Chamber to be constituted included ex officio
Mr M.A. Lopes Rocha, the elected judge of Portuguese nationality
(Article 43 of the Convention) (art. 43), and Mr R. Ryssdal, the
President of the Court (Rule 21 para. 4 (b)).  On 29 September 1995,
in the presence of the Registrar, the President drew by lot the names
of the other seven members, namely Mr L.-E. Pettiti, Mr C. Russo,
Mr J. De Meyer, Mr N. Valticos, Mr S.K. Martens, Mr I. Foighel and
Mr P. Kuris (Article 43 in fine of the Convention and Rule 21 para. 5)
(art. 43).

4.      As President of the Chamber (Rule 21 para. 6), Mr Ryssdal,
acting through the Registrar, consulted the Agent of the Government,
the applicant's lawyer and the Delegate of the Commission on the
organisation of the proceedings (Rules 37 para. 1 and 38).  Pursuant
to the order made in consequence, the Registrar received the
Government's memorial on 18 March 1996 and the applicant's memorial on
29 March 1996. On 10 April 1996 the Secretary to the Commission
informed the Registrar that the Delegate would submit his observations
at the hearing.

5.      On 7 May 1996 the Commission produced the file on the
proceedings before it, as requested by the Registrar on the President's
instructions.

6.      In accordance with the President's decision, the hearing took
place in public in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg, on
26 June 1996.  The Court had held a preparatory meeting beforehand.

        There appeared before the Court:

(a)  for the Government

     Mr  A. Henriques Gaspar, Deputy Attorney-General,         Agent,
     Mrs M.J. Antunes, Professor, Coimbra Law Faculty,       Counsel;

(b)  for the Commission

     Mr  I. Cabral Barreto,                                 Delegate;

(c)  for the applicant

     Mr  M. Figueiredo, of the Coimbra Bar,                  Counsel.

        The Court heard addresses by the above-mentioned
representatives and Mrs Antunes's reply to the question put by one of
its members.

AS TO THE FACTS

I.      Particular circumstances of the case

7.      Mr Serafim da Silva Rocha, who is a Portuguese national, lives
at Rio Tinto (Oporto).

8.      On 21 July 1989, after a dispute with a neighbour following
which the latter died, the applicant was remanded in custody.

9.      In his submissions of 9 March 1990, the public prosecutor
expressed the view that the applicant had acted voluntarily and
consciously.  Finding that the facts gave rise to the offences of
aggravated homicide and illegal possession of weapons, he called for
the applicant's continued detention and his committal for trial.

10.     On 13 July 1990 the Oporto Criminal Court (tribunal criminal
da comarca do Porto) held that, on account of his mentally disturbed
state, the applicant was not criminally responsible and was dangerous.
It accordingly ordered that he be detained for a minimum of
three years.  It stated as follows:

        "The established facts in respect of which the accused is
        charged constitute the offences of intentional homicide and
        unlawful possession of weapons.

        However, in the light of the expert report, ..., as confirmed
        by the medical expert at the hearing, the accused is not
        criminally responsible [inimputável] on account of his
        mental disorder [anomalia psiquica].  In view of the
        seriousness of the offences and the mental illness from which
        he is suffering, the court finds that he is a dangerous person
        who cannot be held responsible for his actions and, given the
        risk of his reoffending, a security measure
        [medida de segurança] must be taken against him.

        Having regard to Articles 20 and 91 of the Criminal Code, the
        court finds that the accused Serafim da Silva Rocha is a
        dangerous person who cannot be held responsible for his
        actions and orders his detention in a psychiatric asylum.
        This security measure will remain in force, in accordance with
        Article 91 para. 2 of the Criminal Code, for a minimum period
        of three years."

        The applicant maintains that he instructed his lawyer to appeal
against this judgment, but no appeal was filed.

11.     On 20 September 1990 the applicant was transferred to the annex
for the criminally insane of the Sobral Cid psychiatric hospital.

12.     On 29 October 1990 the Coimbra Sentence Supervision Court
decided that the applicant's detention should be deemed to have begun
on 21 July 1989, when he was first remanded in custody, and that the
procedure for the automatic review of that detention should commence
on 21 March 1992.  The same day it assigned a lawyer to act for the
applicant as he had not designated one.  It appointed another lawyer
on 21 March 1992.

13.     On 29 June 1992, on the basis of a medical report of
14 May 1992 and the opinion of the social services of 5 June 1992, the
first of which concluded that the applicant remained dangerous and the
second that he lacked a family structure that might assist his
social reintegration, the court extended the detention for a period of
nine months.

14.     On 11 February 1993 the applicant submitted an application for
conditional discharge.  At a date that has not been specified the court
dismissed this application on the ground that "the defendant's
discharge may be ordered only on a trial basis and not conditionally".

15.     On 19 March 1993 the court made enquiries about the applicant's
state of health and the prospects for his reintegration in society.
The medical report drawn up on 13 April 1993 noted that, although the
detainee was no longer dangerous in a hospital environment, there were
some signs that he would still be dangerous if released into the
outside world.  This information was passed on to Mr Silva Rocha's
officially assigned lawyer, who did not respond.

16.     On 3 May 1993 the court heard from senior officials of the
hospital and decided to extend the detention for a period of two months
to see how the applicant's state of health evolved.

17.     At the court's request the psychiatric hospital submitted on
17 September 1993 a report expressing the view that there had been a
general improvement in the applicant's state of health, that he had
ceased to be dangerous and that the conditions now existed for his
successful reintegration into society.

18.     Having heard the applicant, his officially appointed lawyer and
the public prosecutor, the court decided, on 9 February 1994, to order
that he be discharged on a trial basis (libertação a título de ensaio)
subject to a number of conditions including a
compulsory residence order, the obligation to undergo prescribed
medical treatment, a prohibition on the consumption of alcohol and his
agreement to submit to supervision by the social reintegration service.


        The applicant left hospital on 8 March 1994 and since then has
remained at liberty on a trial basis.

II.     Relevant domestic law

19.     The relevant provisions of the Criminal Code are as follows:

                          Article 20 para. 1

        "Persons suffering from a mental disorder who are incapable at
        the material time of appreciating the unlawful nature or the
        consequences of their actions shall not be held criminally
        responsible for those actions."

                              Article 91

        "1.     A person who commits a punishable offence and who is
        found not to be criminally responsible within the meaning of
        Article 20 shall be ordered to be detained in an asylum,
        hospital or secure unit, if there is reason to believe, in
        view of his mental illness and the nature and seriousness of
        his offence, that he may commit further serious offences.

        2.      Where a person found not to be criminally responsible
        has committed homicide, grievous bodily harm
        [ofensas corporais graves] or other violent crimes punishable
        by more than three years' imprisonment and there is reason to
        believe that he will commit further similar offences of the
        same degree of seriousness, he shall be ordered to be detained
        for a minimum period of three years."

        As amended by Legislative Decree no. 48/95 of 15 March 1995,
paragraph 2 now reads:

        "Where the offence committed by a person found not to be
        criminally responsible is an offence against the person or a
        crime punishable by more than five years' imprisonment, he
        shall be ordered to be detained for a minimum period of
        three years, save where his release is not incompatible with
        the protection of the legal system and public order."

                              Article 92

        "1.     Detention shall cease when the court finds that the
        justification for the detention no longer exists because the
        detainee is no longer criminally dangerous.

        2.      A first detention shall not exceed by more than
        four years the maximum sentence prescribed for the type of
        offence committed by the person found not to be criminally
        responsible ..."

        The above-mentioned Legislative Decree no. 48/95 added a
third paragraph to this Article, worded as follows:

        "Where the offence committed by the person found not to be
        criminally responsible is punishable by more than eight years'
        imprisonment and the danger that he will commit similar
        offences is so serious that his release is considered
        inadvisable, his detention may be extended for successive
        periods of two years until it has been established that the
        situation referred to in paragraph 1 exists."

                              Article 93

        "1.     The court may at any time hear an application invoking
        a ground for the cessation of the detention measure.

        2.      The court shall, of its own motion, regardless of
        whether any application has been made, review the detention
        three years after it began and two years after the decision
        extending it.

        3.      These provisions shall apply, in any event, subject to
        the minimum period of detention stipulated in Article 91
        para. 2."

        As amended by Decree no. 48/95, paragraphs 1 and 2 now provide:

        "1.     The court shall at any time hear an application
        invoking a ground for the cessation of the detention measure.

        2.      The court shall, of its own motion, regardless of
        whether any application has been made, review the detention
        two years after it began or after the decision extending it."

                          Article 94 para. 1

        "On the expiry of the minimum period of detention the person
        found not to be criminally responsible may be discharged on a
        trial basis for a minimum period of two years where there are
        serious reasons for believing that he will not commit any
        further illegal acts."

PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION

20.     Mr Silva Rocha applied to the Commission on 28 June 1990.
Relying on Article 5 para. 4 of the Convention (art. 5-4), he
complained of the lack of a judicial review of the measure under which
he was detained.  He also lodged complaints concerning the lawfulness
of his detention (Article 5 para. 1 (e) (art. 5-1-e)) and the
medical treatment that he had received during that detention
(Article 3) (art. 3).

21.     On 10 January 1995 the Commission declared the complaint
concerning Article 5 para. 4 (art. 5-4) admissible and the rest of the
application (no. 18165/91) inadmissible.  In its report of 16 May 1995
(Article 31) (art. 31), it expressed the view, by twenty-five votes to
three, that there had been a violation of that provision (art. 5-4).

        The full text of the Commission's opinion and of the dissenting
opinion contained in the report is reproduced as an annex to this
judgment (1).
_______________
Note by the Registrar

1.  For practical reasons this annex will appear only with the printed
version of the judgment (in Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1996-V),
but a copy of the Commission's report is obtainable from the registry.
_______________

FINAL SUBMISSIONS TO THE COURT BY THE GOVERNMENT

22.     In their memorial the Government asked the Court to hold that
in this instance "there [had] been no violation of Article 5 para. 4
of the Convention (art. 5-4)".

AS TO THE LAW

ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 5 PARA. 4 OF THE CONVENTION (art. 5-4)

23.     Mr Silva Rocha complained that he was unable to have the
lawfulness of his continued detention reviewed at reasonable intervals.
He relied on Article 5 para. 4 of the Convention (art. 5-4), which is
worded as follows:

        "Everyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or
        detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the
        lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a
        court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful."

        He submitted in substance that the effect of Article 91
para. 2 of the Portuguese Criminal Code, taken in conjunction with
Articles 92, 93 and 94 of that Code, was to create a situation that was
incompatible with the Convention.

        He observed that the Oporto Criminal Court had found that he
was not criminally responsible (see paragraph 10 above).  It followed,
in his view, that the only justification for his detention could be the
danger that he represented for society.  That danger was capable of
evolving with the passing of time and consequently, in accordance with
Article 5 para. 4 (art. 5-4), judicial review of the extent to which
it persisted had to be available at reasonable intervals.

        The applicant complained that in any event he could be
discharged only after three years even if it was established before the
expiry of that period that he was no longer dangerous.  Under the rules
in issue there was therefore, he argued, no judicial review of the
lawfulness of the detention before the expiry of the period, and that
could not be regarded as reasonable under the Court's case-law.

        The amendments to the legislation introduced by
Legislative Decree no. 48/95 of 15 March 1995 (see paragraph 19 above)
showed that the respondent State had recognised that the rules applied
in the applicant's case were not compatible with Article 5 para. 4 of
the Convention (art. 5-4).

24.     The Government contended that the review of the lawfulness of
the detention was incorporated in the initial judicial decision, given
at the conclusion of judicial proceedings. The question whether the
review required by Article 5 para. 4 (art. 5-4) had been available
could only apply to later decisions on the continuation of the
detention.  The law provided for automatic review of the lawfulness of
the detention three years after its beginning.

        By laying down a minimum period of three years, the
Criminal Code attributed to the security measure provided for in
Article 91 a separate purpose of general prevention.  In the
instant case, the court had imposed a period of that length because
special reasons relating to the protection of public order and the
legal system so required.  The applicant had taken away a human life
and there was a risk of his reoffending.  The aim of general prevention
explained the deduction by the court of the period of detention on
remand from the three-year period.  In addition, the security measure
imposed on Mr Silva Rocha had been proportionate to the seriousness of
the offence committed.

        There could be no question of a review for the purposes of
Article 5 para. 4 of the Convention (art. 5-4) until the expiry of the
minimum period, at which point only specific grounds of prevention were
in issue.

        Furthermore it had been open to the applicant at any time to
bring habeas corpus proceedings for the review of the lawfulness of his
deprivation of liberty, even if he could not have been discharged
during the three-year minimum period.

25.     The Commission took the view that the Court's reasoning in the
cases of Winterwerp v. the Netherlands (judgment of 24 October 1979,
Series A no. 33) and X v. the United Kingdom (judgment of
5 November 1981, Series A no. 46) applied to Mr Silva Rocha's
situation.  Even though a minimum period of three years had been
imposed, his detention was a deprivation of liberty on grounds which
by definition were capable of evolving with the passing of time.  The
review of the lawfulness of such a measure could not be incorporated
in the initial judicial decision.  During a period of nearly two years
- between the initial decision of 13 July 1990 and the first review
decision of 29 June 1992 -, the applicant, who had been detained within
the meaning of Article 5 para. 1 (e) (art. 5-1-e), had had no
possibility of being discharged and any application for release had
been bound to fail.  The Commission accordingly concluded that such a
lapse of time was "manifestly excessive" (see the Luberti v. Italy
judgment of 23 February 1984, Series A no. 75, p. 16, para. 34, and the
Herczegfalvy v. Austria judgment of 24 September 1992, Series A
no. 244, p. 24, para. 77).

26.     The Court notes that the Oporto Criminal Court found that the
established facts constituted the offences of which the applicant had
been accused, namely aggravated homicide and unlawful possession of
arms.  It also found that, on account of the mental disturbance from
which he suffered, he could not be held criminally responsible and was
at the same time dangerous.  It was for these reasons that it ordered,
in accordance with Articles 20 para. 1 and 91 para. 2 of the
Criminal Code, his detention in a psychiatric institution for a
minimum period of three years (see paragraphs 10 and 19 above).

27.     The applicant was accordingly lawfully detained pursuant to a
decision which, in the circumstances of the case, was both a
"conviction by a competent Court" within the meaning of
Article 5 para. 1 (a) of the Convention (art. 5-1-a) and a
security measure taken in relation to a "person of unsound mind" within
the meaning of Article 5 para. 1 (e) (art. 5-1-e).

        In the present case these two situations, which are not
necessarily mutually exclusive, coexisted.

28.     The case involved a homicide committed by a person who could
not be held responsible for his actions and who was at the same time
dangerous.  The seriousness of the offences together with the risk that
he represented for himself as well as for others could reasonably
justify his being removed from society for at least three years.

29.     For that period the review required by Article 5 para. 4 of the
Convention (art. 5-4) was incorporated in the detention decision taken
in this instance by the Oporto Criminal Court.

30.     It was therefore not until those three years had elapsed that
the applicant's right to "take proceedings by which the lawfulness of
his detention shall be decided ... by a court" at reasonable intervals
took effect.

        In this respect the Court notes that the legislation applied
to Mr Silva Rocha (Article 93 of the Criminal Code, see paragraph 19
above) provided for a periodic and automatic judicial review after
two years and made it possible for the person detained to apply to the
court at any moment to have the detention measure lifted
(see, mutatis mutandis, the X v. the United Kingdom judgment cited
above, p. 23, para. 52).

31.     In the present case, after the judgment of 13 July 1990
(see paragraph 10 above) judicial reviews took place between 21 March
and 29 June 1992 (see paragraphs 12 and 13 above), in February 1993
(see paragraph 14 above), between 19 March and 3 May 1993
(see paragraphs 15 and 16 above) and over a period from the
summer of 1993 to 9 February 1994 (see paragraphs 17 and 18 above).

        The Court considers that the intervals between the different
reviews were not excessive.  It notes that Mr Silva Rocha was
discharged as soon as he had ceased to be regarded as dangerous.

32.     In conclusion, the Court finds that the applicant had the
possibility of having the lawfulness of his detention reviewed at
reasonable intervals and that there has therefore been no violation of
Article 5 para. 4 of the Convention (art. 5-4).

FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT

        Holds by six votes to three that there has been no violation
        of Article 5 para. 4 of the Convention (art. 5-4).

        Done in English and in French, and delivered at a public
hearing in the Human Rights Building, Strasbourg, on 15 November 1996.

Signed: Rolv RYSSDAL
        President

Signed: Herbert PETZOLD
        Registrar

        In accordance with Article 51 para. 2 of the Convention
(art. 51-2) and Rule 53 para. 2 of Rules of Court A, the following
separate opinions are annexed to this judgment:

        (a) concurring opinion of Mr Ryssdal, joined by Mr Foighel;

        (b) concurring opinion of Mr Lopes Rocha;

        (c) dissenting opinion of Mr Pettiti, joined by Mr Russo and
Mr Valticos.

Initialled: R. R.

Initialled: H. P.

                 CONCURRING OPINION OF JUDGE RYSSDAL,
                        JOINED BY JUDGE FOIGHEL

        I do not agree with the Commission that this case cannot be
distinguished from the Winterwerp v. the Netherlands case (judgment of
24 October 1979, Series A no. 33) and the case of
X v. the United Kingdom (judgment of 5 November 1981, Series A no. 46),
where the Court concluded that Article 5 para. 4 (art. 5-4) had been
violated.

        The applicant was remanded in custody on 21 July 1989.  On
9 March 1990 he was charged with homicide and carrying an
illegal weapon.  On 13 July 1990 the Oporto Criminal Court found that
he had committed the offences with which he was charged, but that he
was not criminally responsible on account of his mental disorder.  The
court further held that he was dangerous, having little control over
his actions, and that there was a risk that he would reoffend.  In
accordance with Articles 20 and 91 para. 2 of the
Portuguese Criminal Code the court made a hospital order committing the
applicant for a minimum period of three years to a
psychiatric hospital.

        On 29 October 1990 the Coimbra court decided that the
applicant's detention should be deemed to have begun on 21 July 1989,
when he was first remanded in custody.

        On 29 June 1992 the Coimbra court extended the hospital order
for nine months, referring to a medical report stating that the
applicant was still dangerous.  Further, at a date not specified the
court dismissed the applicant's request of 11 February 1993 to be
released; and, following a medical report of 13 April 1993 that the
applicant would still be dangerous if released, the court on 3 May 1993
extended the detention for a period of two months to see how the
applicant's state of health evolved.

        It follows from the facts as assessed by the competent
domestic courts that the applicant's mental disorder and his danger to
society persisted throughout the period of three years.

        Finally, on 9 February 1994, when the court was satisfied that
the applicant was no longer dangerous to society, it ordered that he
be discharged on a trial basis subject to a number of conditions
including the obligation to undergo prescribed medical treatment.

        On the facts of this case there has in my opinion been no
violation of Article 5 para. 4 (art. 5-4), and I do not consider it
necessary to determine whether a detention order for a minimum period
of three years in accordance with Articles 20 and 91 para. 2 of the
Portuguese Criminal Code would in all circumstances be compatible with
Article 5 para. 4 of the Convention (art. 5-4).

                CONCURRING OPINION OF JUDGE LOPES ROCHA

                             (Translation)

        I have joined the majority in finding that there has been no
violation of Article 5 para. 4 of the Convention (art. 5-4), but I
would like to add a few thoughts on the interpretation of Articles 91
para. 2, 92 para. 1 and 93 para. 3 of the Portuguese Criminal Code in
force at the material time.

1.      In the first place, I would refer to the underlying reasons for
the minimum three-year period provided for in Article 91 para. 2.

        According to the analysis of criminal lawyers, the lack of a
review of the detainee's situation (Article 93 para. 3) is justified
not by the mere presumption that his dangerousness will persist over
a certain time, but rather by the existence of specific reasons
relating to preventing social disquiet and preserving public confidence
in the law in cases of serious offences against the person or serious
acts of violence.

        In other words, both for security measures, although not
predominantly so, and for criminal sentences, a general aim of
prevention is pursued and indeed is autonomous in character.

        As regards the purpose of criminal sanctions, there are no
fundamental differences between custodial criminal sentences and
security measures of detention.

        The distinction lies solely in the relationship between the
aims of general prevention and specific prevention.  As regards
criminal sentences, aims of general prevention (reintegration) play the
principal role, whereas the aims of specific prevention operate solely
within the framework of punishment provided for by law, but with
reference to guilt.  For security measures, on the other hand, aims of
specific prevention (social integration and security) are paramount,
but not to the exclusion of considerations of general prevention
(reintegration) in a form which comes close to (or is identified with)
the minimum requirements of supervision of the legal system.

        The justification of security measures as a punitive instrument
covered by penal policy is as undeniable as that of a
criminal sentence.

        The fundamental principle underlying the imposition of
security measures has always been that of the dangerousness, in other
words the sine qua non of the imposition of such a measure is the
danger that new offences of the same type will be committed in the
future.

2.      In regard to a different situation - the review of
security measures, provided for in Article 102 of the Criminal Code,
according to which a detention order cannot be executed if three years
or more have elapsed since the relevant decision without a new
assessment being made by the court, that is without the court verifying
whether the dangerousness persists -, a very interesting question has
already arisen, namely that of whether the reassessment requirement
also applies to security measures imposed under Article 91 para. 2.

        A negative reply to this question could be justified by arguing
that the minimum of the detention must always be accomplished to
satisfy the requirements of general prevention.

        However, this argument is not persuasive.  In essence, although
the scheme of Article 91 para. 2 embraces aims of positive general
prevention, it remains the case that the principal purpose and
justification relate to the dangerousness of the person concerned and
the need to protect society from that danger.  To take a different view
would amount to replacing arbitrarily a security measure by a
criminal sentence, which is not possible once a person has been found
not to be criminally responsible.

        The conclusion that Article 93 para. 3 (see paragraph 19 of the
judgment) requires that the minimum three-year period of detention must
be complied with in all circumstances is unacceptable.

        Legal writers have found that solution not to be justified from
whatever point of view (textual or teleological interpretation or from
that of penal policy).  Moreover it is a solution which is based on a
serious misunderstanding: Article 93 para. 2 implies a presumption not
of the duration of the dangerousness, but of the dangerousness itself.

        On the contrary, according to Article 91 para. 2 such a measure
is imposed only if there is reason to believe that the person will
commit further similar offences of the same degree of seriousness.

        It follows that even in this situation there is room for an
separate verification of the persistence of dangerousness, which proves
that, even here, the review is fully justified as for every other type
of detention.

        In conclusion, even for detention measures imposed under
Article 91 para. 2, the review is wholly justified.

        What has just been said is the opinion of
Professor Figueiredo Dias of Coimbra University, a law professor of
international repute who was member and then president of the
commissions for the revision of the Portuguese Criminal Code, including
the most recent commission whose recommendations formed the basis for
the amendments introduced by Legislative Decree no. 48/95 of
15 March 1995 (see his recent work, Portuguese criminal law -
The legal consequences of crime (pp. 414-90).  I fully and unreservedly
share this opinion.

3.      Clearly the new wording of Article 91 of the Code introduced
by Legislative Decree no. 48/95 of 15 March 1995 has merely confirmed
the view that reasons of proportionality and necessity explain the
imposition of the three-year minimum period for serious offences, such
as homicide, which is punishable by a criminal sentence of from eight
to sixteen years.

        Moreover, the Sentence Supervision Court, by deciding, when it
assessed the applicant's situation after the expiry of the
three-year period (in which the period of detention on remand was
included), to prolong the measure until a later review, confirmed that
the initial period was fully justified on the facts and not only on
technical grounds.

        Finally, in regard to the wording of Article 5 para. 4 of the
Convention (art. 5-4) and as the Government pointed out in their
memorial and at the hearing, the applicant was not totally deprived of
the right to take proceedings before a court - here the Supreme Court -
 by which the lawfulness of his detention could be decided speedily and
his release ordered if the detention was not lawful.

        He had available to him the special habeas corpus procedure,
provided for and governed by the Code of Criminal Procedure.

        It cannot be assumed in advance that such a step would have no
chance of success.

        Let us adopt, for example, a reasoning based on the coherence
of the system, taking into account what has been said above in
connection with the review procedure provided for in Article 102 of the
Criminal Code, as interpreted by legal writers.  The conclusion must
be that the review covers even the case of a measure imposed under
Article 91 para. 2 (minimum three-year period).

                 DISSENTING OPINION OF JUDGE PETTITI,
                  JOINED BY JUDGES RUSSO AND VALTICOS
                             (Translation)

        I voted for a violation of Article 5 para. 4 of the Convention
(art. 5-4) for the following reasons:

        The applicant's complaint called into question the legislation
concerning the detention of persons declared not to be criminally
responsible (Articles 20, 91 et seq. of the Criminal Code).

        At the hearing before the European Court, counsel for the
Government expressly stated:

        "If the offender is no longer dangerous within the period of
        three years, the judge cannot release the offender.  He must
        remain in detention for a minimum of three years.

        That is the answer, and because of that you have paragraph 3
        of Article 93.  So, he must be detained, and as I have
        explained, this is because of general deterrence reasons."

        The minimum period of detention is therefore indeed
three years.  There is consequently in the Portuguese system a punitive
element and aim of general prevention which, in my view, cannot be
applied to a person who is found by the courts not to be criminally
responsible.

        Under the terms of Article 5 para. 4 (art. 5-4) it is
accordingly necessary that during the period of detention it should be
possible to have the lawfulness of that detention actually determined
by a court.

        Current thinking in criminology and the work of the
United Nations and the Council of Europe follow this approach.  The
problems engendered by legislation based on dangerousness and which
makes an abusive use of detention are well known.  It is for that
reason that the judicial review within the three-year period is
necessary when the person has been acknowledged to be cured and the
cause of his detention ceases.  The review procedures followed in this
case were limited by the provisions of Article 93 para. 3 of the
Criminal Code.  The date of release is not therefore a relevant
argument.  The case of Silva Rocha is different from that of
X v. the United Kingdom (judgment of 5 November 1981, Series A no. 46).
The cases of Hussain v. the United Kingdom (judgment of
21 February 1996, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1996-I) and
Singh v. the United Kingdom (judgment of 21 February 1996,
Reports 1996-I) do not concern persons found not to be criminally
responsible.  The review of the lawfulness of detention on grounds of
mental disorder is a separate matter and cannot be regarded as being
incorporated in the initial decision for the purposes of Article 5
(art. 5).  The preventive element cannot be incorporated where the
non-criminally responsible person is cured.

        European legal writing in this field generally criticises
legislation which makes provision for fixed periods during which no
judicial review is available (see G. Williams, Text Book of
Criminal Law, 1983; B. Bouloc, Pénologie, 1991; P. Murphy (Ed.),
Blackstone's Criminal Practice, 1994).

        These considerations led me to vote for a violation of
Article 5 para. 4 (art. 5-4) in the present state of the legislation,
even if in practice the courts seek to provide a solution to this
problem.