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Part Two The General Fair Trial Guarantees, Ch.3 The Right to an Independent and Impartial Tribunal

From: Human Rights in Criminal Proceedings

Stefan Trechsel

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 June 2024

Right to fair trial — Evidence — Admissibility of evidence — Detention — Fact-finding and inquiry

By far the most important guarantee enshrined in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is that to an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. There are two aspects to this guarantee. On the one hand, it is an individual human right which ensures that disputes in which the individual is involved are decided by a neutral authority. On the other hand, however, it has also an institutional aspect of constitutional importance: it lays the foundation for what has been labelled the third power in a state after the legislative and the executive. The guarantee to an independent and impartial tribunal lays the foundations for the rule of law. This chapter discusses the origins of the guarantee to an independent and impartial tribunal, the importance of the right to this tribunal, and the aspects of independence (such as autonomy of the tribunal and authority of the judgment) and impartiality of the tribunal.

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