Case No 2005-22-01

Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia
23 February 2006

Facts

The Insolvency Law prohibited a suspect, an accused or a defendant in criminal proceedings to become an administrator of insolvency proceedings. The applicant, Mr. Strautmanis, was accused of bribery, thus the court dismissed him of his duty as an administrator in insolvency proceedings.

Complaint

Mr. Strautmanis claimed that his dismissal violates his right to fair trial as it does not respect the presumption of innocence.

Court’s ruling

The Court pointed that the presumption of innocence is a fundamental right - no one has to prove his or her innocence and all the doubts must be in favour of the accused. The Court emphasized that no one should be treated as guilty before his fault has been proven, however, some limitations can be imposed on the accused if there is a legitimate aim for it and the limitation is proportionate. Presumption of innocence grants the accused a number of procedural guarantees in criminal procedure. The Court noted that charging someone with an offence can have an impact on his/her reputation. However, the Court found that the presumption of innocence does not prevent the state from applying certain temporary restrictions related to the reputation of the accused as long as they are in conformity with other rights secured by the Constitution. Therefore the Court ruled the restriction did not affect any of the procedural guarantees of presumption of innocence an therefore there was no violation of the applicant’s right to fair trial.

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Last updated 08/11/2023