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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Miller
Désiré Doorson v. Netherlands
Citation:22 Eur. Ct. H.R. 330 (1996)
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- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
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- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Doorson (defendant) was arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking. A number of addicts had identified Doorson by his photograph as a drug dealer. Six of them agreed to testify on the condition that they remain anonymous, while two of them disclosed their identity as R and N. The investigating judge questioned two of the anonymous witnesses without Doorson or his counsel present; the anonymous witnesses did not appear in court. R did not appear in court, but both the prosecution and the defense had the opportunity to question N. N stated that he did not recognize Doorson, but upon seeing Doorson’s photograph, he said that Doorson was the one who had given him heroin. However, he later expressed some doubt about his identification of Doorson.
The Regional Court convicted Doorson, and he appealed. The Court of Appeal referred the case back to the investigating judge to verify the necessity of preserving the anonymity of the anonymous witnesses. The investigating judge questioned the anonymous witnesses in the presence of Doorson’s counsel, who was not informed of their identity but had the opportunity to cross-examine them. The witnesses expressed their wishes to remain anonymous because they had faced past threats and retaliation for testifying against another drug dealer. The investigating judge confirmed the need to preserve the witnesses’ anonymity. The intermediate appellate court again referred the case back to the investigating judge to record their findings about the anonymous witnesses’ reliability. The judge stated that the anonymous witnesses identified Doorson’s photograph and readily answered questions. The intermediate appellate court affirmed the conviction based on evidence given by N and the anonymous witnesses.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
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- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.