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 Some of these summonses were withdrawn or eventually dismissed by the magistrates' court in Londonderry which heard them but on 22 December 1969 the Resident Magistrate convicted her on three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.