Case of European Court of Human Rights, October 28, 1998 (case Castillo Algar v. Spain)

Resolution Date:October 28, 1998

Information Note on the Court’s case-law No.

October 1998

Castillo Algar v. Spain - 28194/95

Judgment 28.10.1998

Article 6

Administrative proceedings

Article 6-1

Impartial tribunal

Impartiality of military court two of whose members had previously sat in another chamber to hear appeal against order charging applicant: violation

[This summary is extracted from the Court’s official reports (Series A or Reports of Judgments and Decisions). Its formatting and structure may therefore differ from the Case-Law Information Note summaries.]


A. Government’s preliminary objection (non–exhaustion of domestic remedies: failure to exercise right of challenge)

Recapitulation of case–law on exhaustion of domestic remedies rule.

In case before Court, complaint of bias had been raised before Supreme Court and subsequently before Constitutional Court – even though no objection had been made before the trial, domestic courts could not be said to have been denied opportunity to put right alleged violation.

Conclusion: objection dismissed (unanimously).

B. Merits of complaint

Recapitulation of case–law on notion of impartiality.

Subjective test: no evidence that either judge had acted on basis of personal bias.

Objective test: in case before Court, fear that trial court was not impartial had stemmed from fact that two judges sitting in it had previously...

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