324. Meaning of 'criminal'.

The words 'criminal' and 'charge' have autonomous meanings for the purposes of Article 61, since if the classification in domestic law of proceedings as non-criminal were determinative, the protections of Article 62 might be rendered illusory, contrary to the purpose and object of the European Convention on Human Rights3. Where particular prohibited conduct is categorised as non-criminal in domestic law this fact will be merely the starting-point of the Article 6 analysis