The European Convention on Human Rights provides for the right to a fair trial in both civil and criminal contexts1. The concepts of 'criminal charge' and 'civil rights and obligations' are autonomous, that is to say, are for the Strasbourg organs, not for the national law of member states of the Council of Europe including the United Kingdom2: the touchstone for the latter is where the body against whom a claim is brought determines civil rights and obligations. Although the European Court of Human Rights has declined to rule on whether disciplinary charges ratione materiae fall into the civil
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