There is a difference between legal rules which regulate a particular situation, and a presumption which purports to be a correct description of facts. While legal rules need to be as clear as possible, presumptions need to be as factually correct as possible
“the presumption was not a true reflection of the actual state of affairs, would the criticism be justified”
there have been other similar cases, and notably a case concerning an employerʹs joint strict liability for offences caused by his or her employees in relation to violations of Community regulations on driving and rest time. By way of example, in this case, the ECtHR held the application to be inadmissible as regards Article 6(2) ECHR for the following reasons: The Court recalls that in principle the Contracting States remain free to apply the criminal law to an act where it is not carried out in the normal exercise of one of the rights protected under the Convention and, accordingly, to define the constituent elements of the resulting offence. In particular, the Contracting States may, under certain conditions, penalise a simple or objective fact as such, irrespective of whether it results from criminal intent or from negligence (cf. the Salabiaku judgment of 7 October 1988, Series A no. 141, p. 15 § 27) At least it follows from this case that criminal liability based upon ownership or control of some kind, resulting in the imposition of fines, would not seem to be contrary to the ECHR. Obviously, and as pointed out in the case, the question of proportionality between the infringement and the sanction is always relevant, and it could very well be that an additional fine, added on the basis that the perpetrator belongs to a larger entity, could lead to a different result than in the case at hand… It is therefore submitted that even if the presumption of parent company liability were effectively to be considered as a legal rule of responsibility, this would not necessarily run foul of the presumption of innocence nor the principle of personal responsibility as enshrined in the ECHR or the Charter.