Hindered Right of Consular Assistance

Whenever you get into trouble and the police arrest you, you are entitle to contact your consul. But what happens if the police forget to instruct you thereupon? The judgments of BGH of September 25, 2007, re: 5 StR 116/01 and 5 StR 475/02 will tell us.


One Turk, one German, and two Serbs were sentenced for life of murder, illegal possession of semiautomatic weapons, and compulsion. The three aliens appealed the sentence for the formal reason that they were not instructed of their right to contact their consul.

Every foreigner has the right, following art. 36 I lit. b cl. 3 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to contact his or her consul upon arrest. The police is obligated to instruct you already at the time of your arrest. Whenever they fail to do so, whatever evidence was raised without being previously instructed does not lead to an exclusion of evidence improperly obtained evidence. Such evidence may nevertheless be held against you. However, such violation does remain without consequences. The court has to consider this when deciding on a penalty and consider part of the punishment already served.


Published on the old CMS: 2008/6/4
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 2,656 reads


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