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Rutten v. The Netherlands

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A person of unsound mind who was compulsorily confined to an institution for an indefinite or lengthy period was entitled, at any rate where there was no automatic periodic review of a judicial character, to take proceedings at reasonable intervals before a court to put in issue the “lawfulness” — within the meaning of the Convention — of his or her detention, inasmuch as the reasons initially warranting confinement might have ceased to exist. This right included, following the institution of such proceedings, a speedy judicial decision concerning the lawfulness of detention and ordering its termination if it proved unlawful. While there was no guarantee of a right to appeal against decisions on the lawfulness of detention, its requirements must be respected by appeal courts if an appeal lies against a decision on the lawfulness of detention.


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