Yearly journal of scientific articles “Pravova derzhava”
Volume 34 (2023), 748-758 p.
Dudikov À. Practice of the European Court of Human Rights as a Means of Preventing and Eliminating Judicial Error in Law Enforcement
In the study special attention was focused on consideration of such integral partst of the right to a fair trial, enshrined in clause 1 of Art. 6 of the Convention, as (a) the right to access to justice, (b) the principle of finality of judgement (“res judicata”) and (c) the standard of judicial independence and impartiality. Based on the examples of decisions of the ECtHR, it is concluded that these components are the basis of judicial activity in general and the behavior of judges that contribute to the prevention and elimination of judicial errors.
The author supports the opinion that the above mentioned elements of the right to a fair trial are prerequisites for public confidence in the judiciary and the affirmation of justice in the sense of the legality of a court decision and moral consciousness.
The article highlights the main reasons that influence judges to make various mistakes in their activities, such as:
- disagreements in judicial practice caused by the judges' misunderstanding of the content of the law or the existence of gaps in the legislation,
- significant violations of procedural law by judges due to their ignorance, or due to the abuse of the judges’ powers conferred on them by national law,
- external interference in the judge's activities and influence on him that are done for the purpose of giving advantage to one of the parties.
The article argues that the Strasbourg Court expresses different positions regarding the stability of judicial practice. However, the author of the article is of the opinion that the unity of practice, that forms a common legal understanding of the same norms, contributes to the minimization of judicial errors, as well as compliance with the principle of "reasonable terms".
In addition, the author expresses the position that the standard of finality of court decisions, that is mentioned in the ECtHR decisions, should not depend on the duration of the disputed legal relationship, since this leads to the spread of judicial errors in the application of law by lower courts.
The article emphasizes that according to the practice of the European Court, in order to avoid any doubts about the judge's self-interest he/she must take all measures to eliminate such concerns. Otherwise, the judge concerned should be removed from further consideration of such a case. It is noted that this is also a requirement of the judge's integrity according to Art. 3 of the Code of Judicial Ethics.
Taking into account all the above-mentioned considerations, it was concluded that the observance of convention rights and principles reflected in the decisions of the ECtHR guarantees judicial activity conducted by national courts with a minimum tolerance of judicial errors in law enforcement, and also confirms the high standards of behavior of Ukrainian judges during their consideration of cases.
Key words: judicial error, enforcement, law, convention norms, decision, ECtHR, standard.
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