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Appeal Judgement - 14.12.2015 NYIRAMASUHUKO et al. (Butare)

406. While the possibility is not ruled out that decisions rendered by a judge or a chamber could suffice to establish bias, it was held that this would be “truly extraordinary”.[1] In this regard, the Appeals Chamber notes that the European Court of Human Rights has affirmed on several occasions that complaints concerning judges’ lack of independence and impartiality grounded on the content of judicial decisions cannot be considered objectively justified.[2]

See also paras. 95, 771, 2843.

[1] Ferdinand Nahimana v. The Prosecutor, Case No. ICTR-99-52B-R, Decision on Request for Disqualification of Judge Pocar, 6 June 2012, para. 17, referring to Prosecutor v. Vidoje Blagojević et al., Case No. IT-02-60-PT, Decision on Blagojević’s Application Pursuant to Rule 15(B), 19 March 2003, para. 14.

[2] See, e.g., Dimitrov and others v. Bulgaria, ECtHR, No. 77938/11, Judgement, 1 July 2014, para. 159 (“Under the subjective test, the personal impartiality of a judge must be presumed until there is proof to the contrary […]. The facts that some of the judges hearing the case ruled against them on some points or decided to proceed in a certain manner do not constitute such proof”); Previti v. Italy, ECtHR, No. 45291/06, Décision sur la recevabilité, 8 December 2009, para. 258 ("La Cour a cependant eu l’occasion de souligner que des craintes quant à un manque d’indépendance et d’impartialité des juges nationaux se fondant uniquement sur le contenu des décisions judiciaires prononcées contre un requérant (Bracci précité, § 52) ou sur les simples circonstances qu’une juridiction interne a commis des erreurs de fait ou de droit et que sa décision a été annulée par une instance supérieure (Sofri et autres, décision précitée) ne sauraient passer pour objectivement justifiées.”); Bracci v. Italy, ECtHR, No. 36822/02, Arrêt, 15 February 2006, para. 52 (“La Cour observe également que les craintes du requérant d'un manque d'indépendance et d'impartialité des juges nationaux se fondent uniquement sur le contenu des décisions judiciaires prononcées à son encontre. Elles ne sauraient dès lors passer pour objectivement justifiées.”); Sofri and others v. Italy, ECtHR, No. 37234/97, Decision, 4 March 2003, Section B.2.a (“Moreover, the fact that a domestic court has erred in fact or law or that its decision has been set aside by a higher court is not capable by itself of raising objectively justified doubts about its impartiality.”).

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