One of the applicants, Mr. Campbell, was a prisoner accused of causing injuries to certain members of prison staff during a protest in prison while serving his sentence. Two oral hearings were held by the disciplinary commission of the prison which Mr. Campbell refused to attend because he would not be legally represented. Later he was found guilty of the offence.
Mr. Campbell alleged that he did not understand the accusation properly and he was not able to question the witnesses giving statements against him. Thus his right to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him has been violated.
The Court pointed that had Mr. Campbell attended the hearings before the Governor or the Disciplinary Board he would have been able to learn about the accusation in more detail and to question the witnesses. Since his failure to attend on the latter occasion was a matter within his own responsibility, the Court ruled that there had been no violation of Mr. Campbell’s right to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him.