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1 Right to a Competent, Independent and Impartial Tribunal Established by Law

From: The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law

Amal Clooney, Philippa Webb

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 18 September 2021

Subject(s):
Right to fair trial — Derogations — Human rights remedies — Immunity from jurisdiction — Conflict of interests — Waiver — Remedies — Remedies and costs — Rule of law — Separation of powers

This chapter discusses the right to a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal established by law, a right that is absolute and non-derogable, and a necessary precondition for the legitimacy of the judicial function in any state. In assessing whether a defendant’s rights to an independent tribunal has been respected, international human rights bodies have focused on key indicators such as how judges are appointed, promoted, assigned to cases, and removed from office. When it comes to impartiality, international bodies have considered whether the judge or juror had a relationship with a party in the case, had previously expressed a view on an issue to be determined in the case, had revealed a prejudice against the defendant, or had participated in the case at an earlier stage.

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