Decision Barik Edidi v. Spain – appeal lodged out of time prevented courts from ruling on merits of case.
In October 2009 Ms Barik Edidi, a lawyer, attended hearings held before the Audiencia Nacional as part of a trial concerning offences related to Islamic terrorism. During the first hearings, Ms Barik Edidi, who was sitting in the area reserved for members of the public, wore a hijab (Islamic headscarf) without any comments being made by the court. At the hearing of 20 October 2009, she sat in the part of the courtroom reserved for the parties, wearing a lawyer’s gown and with her head covered by the hijab, again without any comments being made. At the hearing of 22 October, the president of the court asked her to return to the part of the courtroom reserved for members of the public, on the ground that lawyers appearing before the court ought not to have their heads covered.
The Court held, in particular, that having lodged her alzada appeal before the Audiencia Nacional out of time, Ms Barik Edidi had herself, from the outset of the proceedings, created the situation of which she complained. Her conduct had thus prevented the domestic courts from ruling on the merits of the case.