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Independence and Impartiality of the Judiciary


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This guide provides insight into the key principles underpinning the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, as developed by the European Court of Human Rights. In Part one, the authors examine the right of access to court under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights as a fundamental conceptual element of the notion of the rule of law, and focus their analysis on the institutional requirements of Article 6 § 1, which concern an “independent and impartial tribunal established by law”. While “independence” and “impartiality” are sometimes considered together by the Court, the guide examines them in two separate chapters, reflecting their status as two distinct concepts that encompass different requirements. Part two of the guide contains summaries of the Court’s case-law identified as most relevant to the Convention rights discussed in Part one.


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