Magee v. the United Kingdom

European Court of Human Rights
6 June 2000


The applicant, Mr Magee, was arrested in connection with an attempted bomb attack. After being taken to the police station he asked to see his lawyer. The permission was denied. In the following days Mr Magee was interviewed several times. He was able to consult his lawyer only 2 days later after admitting to his involvement in the planting of the bomb. 


Mr Magee complained that as an accused he was not entitled to have a lawyer present during the interviews. Thus he had been denied a fair trial, in breach of Article 6. 

Court's ruling

The Court ruled that the denial of access to a lawyer for a suspect before interrogation was a breach of the right to a fair trial. This right might be expressed to refer to the rights at trial, but it is also applicable to pre-trial proceedings. Thus the right to a fair trial of the applicant was violated.

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Last updated 08/11/2023