THE FACTS

I. The basic facts which appear to be undisputed by the Parties may be
summarised as follows:

The applicant is a citizen of the United Kingdom, born in 1948 and a
Member of the United Kingdom Parliament for the constituency of Mid
Ulster in Northern Ireland. When lodging her application, she was
detained in Armagh prison. She is represented by Messrs. S. & L.,
solicitors practising in London.

Following serious disturbances which occurred in the City of
Londonderry in Northern Ireland in August  1969 certain charges were
preferred against the applicant in respect of her conduct during the
disturbances. Some of these summonses were withdrawn or eventually
dismissed by the magistrates' court in Londonderry which heard them but
on 22 December 1969 the Resident Magistrate convicted her on three
charges of inciting persons unknown to commit the offenses of riotous
behaviour in a street and one charge of being guilty of riotous
behaviour. She was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, the maximum
prison sentence, on each of these charges, the sentences to run
concurrently.

The applicant's conviction on these charges was based on the finding
by the Resident Magistrate that, on the occasions in question, she had
exhorted the crowd to man the barricades, to attack the police and to
throw petrol bombs and that she actually organised the throwing of
petrol bombs at the police, although she had not thrown any bombs
herself.

The applicant's defence was that she was justified in what she did
because she reasonably feared that the police were about to carry out
illegal attacks on persons and property and that the only reasonable
way of preventing them was the method she in fact adopted. As evidence
to support this view she relied on a radio communication between a
police officer and police headquarters she claimed to have overheard.

In this connection she also sought to call about 50 witnesses to give
evidence as to the past behaviour of the police in the Bogside area in
Londonderry. The prosecution objected to the calling of these witnesses
on the ground that their evidence was irrelevant and could afford no
defence to the offenses charged. The Resident Magistrate upheld the
objection and held that this evidence was inadmissible.

The applicant first served notice of appeal to the County Court and
entered into bail for the presentation of her appeal. However, she
abandoned this appeal and applied instead for a case to be stated to
the Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland.

In the course of the argument in the Court of Appeal, the applicant's
principal contention was that the Resident Magistrate had been wrong
in refusing to allow her to call the witnesses concerned and she again
submitted that assuming that they had been called and had proved the
facts that she hoped they would prove, she would have been able to
sustain the defence that her acts were justified or otherwise not
illegal.

In a judgment delivered by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord McDermott, on
22 June 1970, the applicant's appeal was dismissed.

The Court found that, even assuming that the applicant did honestly and
reasonably believe that the police were about to behave unlawfully in
the manner claimed, the applicant's plea of justification did not
afford a defence. In these circumstances, the evidence concerned was
not relevant. It was stated, however, that if there was a defence, then
such evidence would in principle be relevant.

The Court further held as regards the sentence imposed that no point
of law was raised which would leave it open to review on an appeal by
way of case stated.

The applicant then applied to the Court of Appeal for the grant of a
certificate under Section 1 (2) of the Administration of Justice Act
1960 that a point of law of general public importance was involved in
the decision of 22 June 1970, and for leave to appeal to the House of
Lords (1). Having heard the submissions of counsel for the applicant,
the Court of Appeal declared, on 26 June 1970, that no such point of
law was involved in the decision and accordingly refused leave to
appeal to the House of Lords.
-------------------------------
(1) Section 1 (2) of the Act provides:
"No appeal shall be under this section except with the leave of the
Court below or of the House of Lords; and such leave shall not be
granted unless it is certified by the Court below that a point of law
of general public importance is involved in the decision and it appears
to that Court or to the House of Lords, as the case may be that the
point is one which ought to be considered by that House".
--------------------------------

II. THE APPLICANT'S COMPLAINT

1. Summary of alleged violations of the Convention

(a)  The refusal to allow her to call witnesses to the past behaviour
of the police that gave rise to her fears (which she alleged justified
her conduct along with the overheard radio conversation) constituted
a breach of Article 6 (3) (d) of the Convention, which requires that
an accused person shall be allowed to "... obtain the attendance and
examination of witnesses on his behalf ...".

(b)  The principal ground for her subsequent appeal to the Court of
Appeal was the refusal to allow her to call this relevant evidence. She
conceded that the evidence was relevant only if, assuming it proved all
she claimed, she would then have a defence. The argument on appeal
largely turned on whether this evidence would have afforded her a
defence if it had been admitted. She claims that the judgment of the
Court of Appeal seems to reach no conclusion on this point. It was
conceded that the evidence was admissible if a defence of justification
such as the one she sought to put forward was available. The Court of
Appeal denied, however, that this was the case. The reasoning is,
according to the applicant, "so slipshod and faulty that no judge
acting in good faith, applying the laws of the United Kingdom
applicable in Northern Ireland could have come to such conclusions".
She maintains that this is a breach of Article 6 (1) of the Convention
which requires "a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by
an independent and impartial tribunal established by law".

The applicant assumes that "hearing" here means the whole procedural
process from the original hearing and all stages of appeal until final
conclusion of the case.

Referring to the rules governing appeals to the House of Lords, the
applicant states that it is clear from the act itself and the
authorities that the only consideration that the Court (in this case
the Court of Appeal) shall exercise in considering whether to grant a
certificate is whether or not there is a point of law of general public
importance in its decision. The word "involved" emphasises that the
point of law need not have been the reason (ratio decidendi) for the
Court's decision:  it is sufficient that the point of law of general
public importance has been touched upon and discussed. When the Court
comes to consider granting leave, then many other matters can be
considered, e.g. what is to be gained by an appeal to the House of
Lords. If the Court of Appeal refused leave then the House of Lords can
be requested to grant leave.

The applicant contends that in the present case many points of law of
general public importance were involved in the decision of the Court
of Appeal and that, therefore, the refusal to certify any was
deliberately unjust. She claims that on the face of it, the decision
implies beyond reasonable doubt that this was not a "fair hearing" and
that the tribunal did not act "impartially" as bona fide judges
applying, without fear or favour, the laws applicable in Northern
Ireland; a clear breach of Article 6.

(c)  The applicant finally alleges a violation of Article 13 of the
Convention in that there is no effective remedy before a national
authority for the alleged violations referred to above.

2. Arguments to support the contention that the Court of Appeal did not
act bona fide or impartially

Having summarised her complaint as set out above, the applicant
examined in her original application in greater detail the judgment of
the Court of Appeal in order to establish that, in considering her
appeal, the Court was not acting bona fide. In this connection, she
contends that the Court was so wrong as to impose the conclusion that
it had made up its mind in advance and was seeking specious reasons for
its prior decision.

The applicant first recalls that her defence was that she had been
entitled to do what she did, because she reasonably believed that the
police were about to act not as a legal police force, but in an
unlawful manner, beating up and assaulting the inhabitants of the
Bogside area and doing damage to their property. All her actions were
designed to prevent this and were no more than reasonably necessary to
that end. In support of this contention she relied on the radio
conversation mentioned earlier and the witnesses she was not allowed
to call. Their evidence was designed to show that the police on at
least four previous occasions had gone into the Bogside area and
carried out the sort of assault with damage to persons and property the
applicant alleged she feared on the occasion giving rise to the
summonses.

The Court of Appeal expressly ruled that if there was a defence of
justification then the Magistrate ought to have let the evidence in.
According to the applicant, the question then would seem to be this:
assuming that she honestly and reasonably believed that the police were
to attack people and damage property, was she then entitled to
encourage those who, she feared, were the likely victims and help to
organise them in their defence. The applicant claims that it is clear
from the judgment that the Court of Appeal assumed and expressly stated
that they were assuming that the evidence excluded, had it been
submitted, would have proved all the applicant claimed for it; that she
did honestly and reasonably believe attacks by the police were
imminent. However, she contends that by implication the Court admitted
a further point; namely that since it had not heard the excluded
evidence, it could not know precisely the scope or degree of the
previous attacks, that therefore it could not discuss the degree of her
fears or her response to those, but must assume that the attacks feared
by her were of the gravity alleged by her and of sufficient gravity to
justify in terms of "common-sense" the actions taken by her. The Court
seemed to have been unaware of this implication and indeed in some
instances based part of their judgment on the presumption that this
implication did not arise.

If the applicant was justified to do what she did from a common-sense
point of view, only one question remains, namely whether it was
justified in law. She refers to one argument advanced by the
prosecution that whatever else the excluded evidence might prove, it
could not prove that the police were in fact going to act unlawfully.
However, this objection is, in her opinion, rebutted by means of a
well-established legal principle known as "mistake of fact" according
to which an honest and reasonable mistake of fact will afford a defence
if what were believed to be the facts would have afforded a defence.
The question if justification is to be decided not on the facts as they
were, but on what she honestly and reasonably believed to be the facts.
The Court of Appeal appears to the applicant to have accepted this
principle at the outset, but in giving reasons why her appeal was to
fail, the principle was ignored several times.

If the excluded evidence had been admitted before the Magistrate, he
would then have had to decide whether this would give rise to the
applicant's honest and reasonable belief, how grave were her fears, and
whether the steps she did take could be considered merely defensive
(reasonable) or went further and amounted to aggression (unreasonable)
without knowing the degree of attack feared, it is impossible to say
whether what she was known to have done amounted to aggression or
merely defence.

The applicant states that on behalf of herself her defence was argued
in four ways:

(a)  that the justification robbed the crimes of their mens rea;

(b)  that the doctrine of self-defence was applicable or some analogous
defence was available;

(c)  that the doctrine of prevention of crime was applicable so that
if the police were about to carry out the feared aggression, they were
of course about to commit crimes and what she did was in prevention of
crime;

(d)  necessity, i.e. that there is a general defence of necessity which
can be roughly formulated thus:  acts that would otherwise be crimes
will not be crimes where the person committing them did so in order to
prevent anticipated greater evil.

In her petition the applicant summarises in respect of each method of
argument what she considers to be the legal situation according to the
law of Northern Ireland. She then relates the seven grounds for denying
justification indicated by the Court to the four methods that had been
argued by the defence. She considered that the Court has failed to deal
with some of the issues raised by her, committed repeated errors in
their reasoning. In particular, she claims that the Court should not
have made certain assumptions of fact for which there was no evidence
before the Court, since the calling of this evidence has been refused.

As to the refusal of the certificate, the only thing the Court should
be considering, according to the applicant, was whether any points of
law of general public importance were discussed. She lists eight points
which she claims warranted the granting of a certificate. These points,
except one, relate to the issues raised by the applicant's defence in
order to establish the justification of her conduct.

The last point, however, deals with the Court of Appeal's discretion
as to sentence. The applicant submits that the act entitling the
defendant to appeal from the Magistrate's Court to the Court of Appeal
by way of case stated specifically provides that the Court of Appeal
in considering the case should have all the powers of the Magistrate
in relation to sentence. Without citing any authority, the Court held
in the applicant's case that they did not have this unfettered
discretion. Thus any one who appeals to the Court of Appeal by way of
case stated incurs the penalty of not being entitled to have his
sentence considered again from the beginning.

III. SUBMISSIONS OF THE PARTIES

1. As to the refusal to call certain witnesses

The respondent Government submits in its observations on the
admissibility that it understands the applicant's complaints in this
connection to be directed against the decision of the Resident
Magistrate to exclude the evidence of the witnesses concerned and the
refusal of the Court of Appeal to hold that decision to be incorrect.

The established jurisprudence of the Commission is, in the Government's
submission, that the Convention, and, in particular Article 6 (3) (d),
does not afford to a defendant the unfettered right to call any
witnesses he pleases irrespective of whether or not their evidence will
be relevant to the issues before the Court. Reference is made by way
of example, to the decisions on applications Nos. 1138/61 (Collection
of Decisions, Vol. 11, pp.9, 13) and 2384/64 (Collection of Decisions,
Vol. 23, p. 26). Accordingly, the Government submits that if, in the
present case, the evidence of the witnesses whom the applicant sought
to call was, under the law of Northern Ireland relating to the offenses
in question, irrelevant to any defence that might be available in
respect of those offenses, the Resident Magistrate's refusal to admit
it was a proper refusal within the principles previously laid down by
the Commission. The decision of the Resident Magistrate on this point
was taken to the Court of Appeal, the body (save in the exceptional
case of an appeal to the House of Lords) which has the supreme
authority to determine in proceedings of this kind the law of Northern
Ireland with regard to questions of criminal law. The Resident
Magistrate's decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal on the specific
ground that, under the law of Northern Ireland, no such defence was
available to the applicant as she sought to rely on and the evidence
would therefore have been irrelevant. It is therefore submitted that
the Resident Magistrate's decision on this issue and also the decision
of the Court of Appeal upholding it cannot in themselves constitute
violations of the Convention. The application is accordingly in that
respect incompatible with the provisions of the Convention.

In her observations in reply, the applicant emphasises that, whereas
the decision of the Resident Magistrate to exclude the evidence
concerned is indeed one of her complaints, she does not make the
refusal of the Court of Appeal to hold that this decision was incorrect
a separate complaint in itself. In her submission, the Court did not
in fact hold that the decision was incorrect. The Court held that,
insofar as some defence of justification was available to her, those
witnesses should have been called, but in view of other circumstances,
it would have made no difference whatever their evidence would have
been. According to her this is further evidence of the lack of
competence and bona fides of the judges of the Court of Appeal.

The applicant concedes that the Convention does not give an accused
person an unfettered right to call any witnesses as the witnesses must
be relevant to the issues involved. However, the Commission should not
be bound by the decision of the national courts as to whether these
witnesses are relevant. Otherwise Article 6 (3) (d) of the Convention
would be a dead letter because the only way to challenge the court's
ruling that a witness should not be heard would be to challenge the
bona fides of the court which in itself would be an allegation of a
violation of Article 6 (1).

The fact that the Court of Appeal assumed that the witnesses would be
relevant to her defence and the Magistrate forbade her to call them was
already a breach of Article 6 (3) (d). The decision that the witnesses
were relevant to her in the circumstances without having heard the
evidence further underlines the lack of bona fides and the lack of
competence.

2. As to the refusal of the Court of Appeal to review the sentence

As regards the refusal by the Court of Appeal to review the sentence
imposed on the applicant, the Government submits that it is the settled
jurisprudence of the Commission that the Convention is not to be
construed as obliging Contracting States to confer on a convicted
person a specific right to municipal law to appeal against his
conviction; a fortiori the Convention entails no right to appeal
against sentence or to have it reviewed.

Even where municipal law confers a right of appeal against sentence or
the right to have a sentence reviewed, it is submitted that the
provisions of Article 6 do not apply to the determination of any such
appeal or application for a review, at any rate where (as in the
present case) there is no possibility of the appellant's sentence being
increased. However, no right to appeal against sentence or to have it
reviewed was available in the proceedings which the applicant had
instituted in the present case and the applicant's request to the Court
of Appeal on that behalf was therefore misconceived. The question
whether such a right exists is, of course, a question of the domestic
law of the country concerned. The Court of Appeal in the present case
expressly considered the question whether any such right was available
to the applicant (or, more accurately, whether any such power to review
the sentence was available to the Court) in the proceedings by way of
case stated which the applicant had chosen to bring. The Court held,
as a matter of law, that except insofar as the sentence raised
questions of law (which, save in one respect which it dealt with and
which is immaterial to this application, was not so) it had no such
power. The Court's decision in this respect is, of course, an
authoritative statement of the law of Northern Ireland on this matter.

The Government also draws the attention of the Commission to the
alternative procedure for appeals that was available to her by way of
an appeal to the County Court. In the premises, the Government submits
that the refusal of the Court of Appeal to enter on a review of the
applicant's sentence in the proceedings before it cannot in itself
constitute a violation of the Convention and in that respect the
application is incompatible with the provisions of the Convention.

In her observations in reply the applicant states that it is not the
refusal to review her sentence itself which is her complaint but the
reasons given for this refusal which shows that the Court was either
incompetent or not acting bona fide and fairly.

In the applicant's submission, it is true that a Magistrate can only
be required to state a case on a point of law, but the wide wording of
the relevant statutory provisions makes it clear that the Court of
Appeal has all the powers of the Magistrate's Court. According to the
applicant, this plainly means that in considering the appeal the Court
of Appeal can reconsider the sentence "de novo" and that it is not
confined to considering points of law only. There are no authorities
or decisions to the contrary yet the Court of Appeal held that it had
no power to review the sentence generally. This decision constitutes
a breach of Article 6 (1) of the Convention.

3. As to the refusal to grant a certificate that points of law of
general public interest were involved.

The Government submits that the law of Northern Ireland confers no
specific right, in a case such as this, to appeal to the House of
Lords. Neither does the Convention accord to the applicant any specific
right to pursue her appeal to the House of Lords. The Government
further submits that in considering whether its decision involved
points of law of general public importance, which was of course a
necessary prelude to their embarking on the consideration of her
application for leave to appeal to the House of Lords, the Court of
Appeal was not engaged in determining any civil right or obligation or
any criminal charge; it was carrying out a process analogous to that
carried out by the bench of three judges (Dreiausschuss) of the Federal
Constitutional Court of the Federal Republic of Germany and the
Government submits that the reasoning adopted by the Commission in such
cases as application No. 441/58 (Yearbook, Vol. 2, p. 391), application
No. 448/59 (Yearbook, Vol. 3, p. 254) application No. 673/59 (Yearbook,
Vol. 4, p. 286) and application No. 742/60 (Yearbook, Vol. 4, p. 296)
concerning the functions of the Dreiausschuss is applicable to the
functions of the Court of Appeal now in question. The Government
therefore submits that the functions of the Court of Appeal in deciding
whether or not to grant a certificate are not in any event within the
ambit of Article 6 of the Convention. Accordingly, for either or both
of the reasons indicated in this paragraph the Government submits that
the applicant's complaint in relation to the refusal of a certificate
is incompatible with the provisions of the Convention.

The applicant stresses that again it is not the refusal of the Court
of Appeal to grant a certificate which in itself is her complaint; it
is adduced as further evidence of the lack of bona fide and lack of
competence.

She considers that the argument that the Court of Appeal, in deciding
whether to grant such a certificate is carrying out a process analogous
to the Dreiausschuss of the German Federal Constitutional Court is
false as an appeal to the latter Court is not an investigation as to
the right or wrong of the alleged criminal charge but an investigation
into whether or not a constitutional right has been breached. Quite
clearly such a process does not, in the applicant's opinion fall within
the definition of Article 6.

As appeal to the House of Lords in the United Kingdom, on the other
hand, is part of the appellate procedure available to an accused
person. Any subsidiary procedural steps in a trial (for instance
arguments as to the admissibility of evidence) must surely be regarded
as part of the trial, and therefore within the scope of Article 6. If
this were not so, High Contracting Parties could circumvent Article 6
by simply breaking up a trial into a series of procedural inaccuracies.
In the applicant's submission, the decision of the Court of Appeal as
to the granting of certificate forms part of the appellate procedure
and therefore falls within Article 6 of the Convention.

She claims that where there is a procedure for deciding whether she has
a right to pursue her appeal to the House of Lords, the Convention
requires those operating that procedure to make their decisions bona
fide. In any event, even if the Court of Appeal was not engaged in the
"determination" of a criminal charge, their manifestly wrong refusal
to certify in this case should be taken into account by the Commission
as evidence in considering the other alleged violations of Article 6
(1) of the Convention.

The applicant further submits, as regards the refusal of the Court of
Appeal to review her sentence, that this constitutes a novel
interpretation of the statute concerned which involved a point of law
of general public importance. The question of interpretation of a
statute is always a question of law even when the matter is concerned
with sentence. The applicant states that recently the same Court
granted such a certificate in respect of the question whether a statute
imposing minimum penalties during the current emergency excluded the
Magistrate's power to suspend sentence. As far as public importance
goes there is, in her opinion, no difference between these two
statutory points of interpretation, yet in her case the Court of Appeal
refused a certificate.

4. As to whether the Court of Appeal in reaching its decision was
motivated by bias and bad faith

Without prejudice to the submissions already made by the Government
that, in taking certain of the decisions in question, the Court of
Appeal was in any event not operating within the ambit of Article 6 of
the Convention, the Government makes the following submissions as to
the question whether in reaching its decisions, the Court so conducted
itself as to involve a breach of Article 6 (1) of the Convention. The
applicant's case is that at all material times the members of the Court
of Appeal acted in bad faith, were motivated by bias and deliberately
gave decisions which they knew to be wrong and unjust. The applicant
has not adduced a scintilla of factual evidence to support this
allegation. Her case for making it appears to rest solely on the basis
that the Court of Appeal did not accept the arguments that had been
submitted on her behalf, that its interpretation of the law of Northern
Ireland differs from what she contends that law is or ought to be and
that she, for her part, finds its reasoning "so slipshod and faulty
that no judge acting in good faith, applying the law of the United
Kingdom applicable to Northern Ireland could have come to such
conclusions". In the submission of the Government, this does not amount
to even the beginning of a case for considering that the judges of the
Court of Appeal were guilty of bias, bad faith and, as the applicant
in terms asserts, deliberate injustice. Accordingly the United Kingdom
Government submits that the application, insofar as it rests on this
complaint, is manifestly ill-founded.

In her reply, the applicant claims that the Government has in its
observations failed to answer her complaint and attempted to discuss
in five lines the breaches of Article 6 (1) of the Convention expounded
on over 20 pages of her original statement of facts. In her opinion she
had shown there that the judges failed to act in good faith. "Fair" in
the wording of Article 6 (1) requires not only that the judges act bona
fide and impartially but also that they are of a reasonable standard
of competence.

She argues that bad faith or incompetence can be shown in two ways. One
is by external evidence such as the proof of the taking of bribes or
expressions by the judge outside the Court which clearly indicates that
he has not acted fairly in considering the appeal. The other is by the
very nature of the judgment itself. The first type of evidence will
seldom, if ever, fall into the hands of the accused party. However, the
very words of the judgment can provide the necessary evidence if the
reasoning is so bad and the standard of legal knowledge so poor, that
no reasonable competent judge acting honestly could have delivered such
a judgment.

The applicant submits that she does not, as maintained by the
Government, rely on the fact that her interpretation of the law was not
accepted. From the beginning, she has contended that one had to go
further than merely prove that the Court of Appeal was or might be
wrong. One had actually to expose the kind of manifest errors both
legal and logical that give rise to the conclusion that the hearing was
unfair. In the applicant's opinion this was done in her original
petition. The Government has, however, not met or dealt with a single
argument advanced by the applicant but merely made a flat assertion
that it does not find her arguments convincing.

THE LAW

Whereas the applicant complains of the refusal of the Resident
Magistrate to allow her to call at the trial certain witnesses and of
the subsequent upholding of this refusal by the Court of Appeal;
whereas she alleges that these decisions were incorrect and that the
Court of Appeal's decision was, moreover, taken in bad faith; that both
decisions violated Article 6 (3) (d) (Art. 6-3-d) of the Convention
which provides that everyone charged with a criminal offence has the
right "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"; whereas she also alleges
that these decisions violated her right under Article 6 (1) (Art. 6-1),
to a "fair hearing" of the charges against her; whereas, insofar as the
applicant alleges that the Court of Appeal wrongly interpreted the law
of Northern Ireland, the Commission has frequently stated that in
accordance with Article 19 (Art. 19) of the Convention its only task
is to ensure observance of the obligations undertaken by the Parties
in the Convention; whereas, in particular, it is not competent to deal
with an application alleging that errors of law or fact have been
committed by domestic courts, except where the Commission considers
that such errors might have involved a possible violation of any of the
rights and freedoms limitatively listed in the Convention;

Whereas, in this respect, the Commission refers to its decisions Nos.
458/59 (X. v. Belgium - Yearbook, Vol. III, p. 233) and 1140/61 (X. v.
Austria - Collection of Decisions, Vol. 8, p. 57);

Whereas the Commission has therefore only considered the decision in
regard to the alleged violation of Article 6 (3) (d) and (1)
(Art. 6-1, 6-3-d) of the Convention;

Whereas, according to the Commission's constant jurisprudence, Article
6 (3) (d) (Art. 6-3-d) does not give the accused person a right to call
witnesses without any restriction; in particular, the Commission has
repeatedly held that the competent courts of the Contracting Parties
are free, subject to respect for the terms of the Convention, to decide
whether the hearing of a witness for the defence is likely to be of
assistance in discovering the truth and, if not, to decide against
calling that witness; whereas in this respect the Commission refers to
its Report in the Austria v. Italy case (Application No. 788/60),
Yearbook, Vol. 6, pp. 740, 772 and to its decision on the admissibility
of Application No. 1134/61, X. v. Belgium, Yearbook, Vol. 4, pp. 378,
382);

Whereas, in the present case, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision
of the Resident Magistrate to exclude the evidence tendered by the
applicant on the ground that it was not relevant as her plea of
justification would under the law of Northern Ireland, offer no defence
to any of the charges; whereas the applicant herself conceded that this
evidence was only relevant provided that, once admitted, it would have
supported a valid line of defence;

Whereas the Commission considers that the Court of Appeal's decision
to uphold the Resident Magistrate's refusal for the evidence concerned
to be heard was, in view of the reasons given by the Court of Appeal
and having regard to the Commission's jurisprudence in this respect,
not inconsistent with the provisions of Article 6 (3) (d) (Art. 6-3-d)
of the Convention.

Whereas the Commission has also considered the applicant's allegation
that there was a violation of Article 6 (1) (Art. 6-1) in that the
Court of Appeal, in considering her appeal, was not acting in good
faith and impartially;

Whereas she claims that this is evident from the reasons given in the
judgment of the Court for its findings that no defence of justification
was available to her and that the Court had no power to review her
sentence;

Whereas the Commission observes that the applicant's allegation of bias
on the part of the Court of Appeal is solely based on her contention
that the interpretation of domestic law expressed in the judgment of
the Court was manifestly wrong;

Whereas the Commission has already stated that it is not competent to
consider alleged errors of law or fact committed by domestic courts
unless it finds that such errors might have involved a further
violation of any of the rights and freedoms set forth in the
Convention;

Whereas therefore the Commission can only consider the present
allegation to the extent that it may involve a violation of Article 6
(1) (Art. 6-1) in that the applicant, as a result of the alleged bias
of the Court, did not receive a fair hearing of the charges against
her;

Whereas, the Commission, having regard to the particular submissions
made by the Parties in this connection, does not find that their
findings of the Court of Appeal in any way violated this provision of
Article 6 (1) (Art. 6-1);

Whereas, it follows that this part of the application is manifestly
ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27, paragraph (2)
(Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Whereas, the applicant further complains of the refusal of the Court
of Appeal, after it had dismissed her appeal, to certify, in accordance
with the provisions of Section I of the Administration of Justice Act
1960, that there was a point of law of general public interest involved
in the decision of 22 June 1970; whereas the applicant was thus refused
leave to appeal to the House of Lords; whereas the applicant
specifically alleges that the refusal of the Court of Appeal to grant
the certificate concerned was deliberately unjust and constituted a
clear breach of her right under Article 6 (1) (Art. 6-1) of the
Convention to a fair hearing of her case; whereas, in the applicant's
submission, the decision of the Court of Appeal as to the granting of
such certificate forms part of the appellate procedure in the United
Kingdom and therefore falls within the scope of Article 6 (Art. 6) of
the Convention;

Whereas, the respondent Government has submitted that, neither under
the law of Northern Ireland nor under the Convention, had the applicant
a specific right to pursue her appeal to the House of Lords and that,
moreover, the functions of the Court of Appeal, in deciding whether or
not to grant a certificate, are not within the ambit of Article 6
(Art. 6) of the Convention;

Whereas, it is first to be observed that the Convention, under the
terms of Article 1 (Art. 1) of the Convention, guarantees only the
rights and freedoms set forth in Section I of the Convention; and
whereas, under Article 25 (1) (Art. 25-1) only the alleged violation
of one of those rights and freedoms by a Contracting Party can be the
subject of an application presented by a person, non-governmental
organisation or group of individuals; Whereas otherwise its examination
is outside the competence of the Commission ratione materiae; whereas
he Commission has repeatedly held that no right to appeal to a higher
court is as such included among the rights and freedoms guaranteed by
the Convention;

Whereas, having regard to the relevant provisions of the Administration
of Justice Act 1960, and the observations made by the respondent
Government in this connection, the Commission finds that, in
considering whether or not to grant a certificate, the Court of Appeal
was solely concerned with finding whether a point of law of general
interest was involved in its decision dismissing the applicant's
appeal, and was thus not concerned, as it had been when hearing the
appeal, with the determination of the charges against the applicant;
whereas the Court of Appeal was therefore at this stage clearly not
concerned with the determination of a criminal charge within the
meaning of Article 6 (Art. 6) of the Convention;

Whereas the Commission notes, in particular, that the Court, having
reached the conclusion that no point of law of general public
importance was involved, was not called upon to decide whether leave
to appeal should be granted or not; further that, although the Court
of Appeal had at the same time been requested to grant a certificate
and leave to appeal to the House of Lords, the proceedings involved
were in this respect to be clearly distinguished from the proceedings
before the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, in England on an
application for leave to appeal to that Court; whereas, the
Commission's reasons for considering such proceedings before the latter
Court as falling within the scope of Article 6 (Art. 6) of the
Convention are set out in its decision on the admissibility of
Application No. 3075/67, X. v. United Kingdom (Yearbook, Vol. 11, p.
466); whereas it follows that this part of the application is
incompatible with the provisions of the Convention within the meaning
of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention;

Whereas, finally, insofar as the applicant complains of a violation of
Article 13 (Art. 13) of the Convention in that there was no effective
remedy before a national authority for the alleged violations of the
Convention referred to above, the Commission observes that this
provision relates exclusively to a remedy in respect of a violation of
one of the rights and freedoms set forth in the other Articles of the
Convention;

Whereas, in the present case, not even the appearance of violation of
any of these Articles has been established; whereas therefore there is
no basis for the application of Article 13 (Art. 13) of the Convention;

Whereas it follows that also this part of the application is
incompatible with the provisions of the Convention within the meaning
of Article 27, paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), thereof;

Now therefore the Commission DECLARES THIS APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE.