View Adopted: 2020.03.13
The author is a national of France who claims that the State party has violated his rights under article 14 (1) of the Covenant.
In October 2000, at the age of 16, the author exited the school and was subsequently cornered and then sexually assaulted by two classmates in the presence of several other students.
The author filed a rape complaint outlining this incident on 4 October 2010. This was ultimately dismissed on 1 June 2011 owing to insufficient evidence. In response, the author lodged a civil action complaint on the basis of the same facts.
On 4 December 2012, the investigating judge ordered a confrontation between the author and the two accused. The author was unable to attend and requested a postponement also in order to have more time to collect information from witnesses. The investigating judge refused to extend the investigation, on the basis of the auhor’s nonattendance and the inadequate information collected from witnesses. The investigating judge noted that all barring one witness had been heard but did not have sufficient information. The author followingly submitted a series of unsuccessful appeals.
The author is of the view that only the one witness he had named in the complaint was ultimately heard, and that given the considerable time elapsed since the sexual assault, there is an additional requirement to rely on all elements submitted. This also includes his own statements, which he argues have not been thoroughly examined. On this basis, the author considers that the decision to refuse to extend the investigation, despite his absence at the confrontation for health reasons, amount to a violation of his right to a fair hearing.
The Committee noted that in the present case the author had failed to sufficiently demonstrate how the assessment of all the information obtained in the investigation was clearly arbitrary or amounted to a denial of justice. As such, the Committee found that the author’s claims were insufficiently substantiated and therefore inadmissible.