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Van Pelt v. France

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Failure of an applicant to appear in court, although in hospital at the time, resulted in the dismissal of his application for an adjournment and his lawyers being refused permission to make submissions on his behalf. This contravened the right of every accused to be effectively represented by a lawyer which is a fundamental feature of the right to a fair trial. An accused did not forfeit that right merely by not being present at the hearing. Declaring an appeal to the Court of Cassation inadmissible solely on the ground that the appellant had failed to comply with a warrant requiring him to surrender to custody constituted an unreasonable interference with his right to a court and thus to his right to a fair trial.

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