The European Court of Human Rights recently changed its position on the right to examine witnesses. This right was diminished in two ways. First, in the Al-Khawaja and Tahery judgment, the court abandoned the rule that it must be possible at all times to question a decisive witness and so created the possibility to test the reliability of a decisive witness statement in other ways. Secondly, the European Court of Human Rights' decision in Ellis, Simms and Martin opened the possibility to base a conviction solely, or to a decisive extent, on anonymous witness statements, which was previously not allowed. As a result, anonymous witness statements can now play a far larger part in the ruling on the evidence than previously possible.
- Door Bas de Wilde VU University Amsterdam in The International Journal of Evidence & Proof: January 2013, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 157-182.