Any body that meets the criteria of impartiality and independence can be considered a tribunal.
- The notion of a 'tribunal' in article 14, paragraph 1 designates a body, regardless of its denomination, that is established by law, is independent of the executive and legislative branches of government or enjoys in specific cases judicial independence in deciding legal matters in proceeding that are judicial in nature. Article 14, paragraph 1, second sentence guarantees access to such tribunals to all who have criminal charges brought against them...Similarly, whenever rights and obligations in a suit at law are determined, this must be done at least at one stage of the proceedings by a tribunal within the meaning of this sentence.
- a. Judicial review should be conducted by a tribunal established by law whose independence and impartiality are guaranteed in accordance with the terms of Recommendation No. R (94) 12. b. The tribunal may be an administrative tribunal or part of the ordinary court system.
- This recommendation is applicable to all persons exercising judicial functions, including those dealing with constitutional, criminal, civil, commercial and administrative law matters... All necessary measures should be taken to respect, protect and promote the independence of judges.
- Without structural and procedural safeguards to ensure independence and impartiality, public perception that election investigations favor a particular side in a dispute could endanger the democratic legitimacy and the credibility of the entire electoral process.
- For this purpose, both the Constitution and current legal norms should provide for the functional, administrative, and financial autonomy of the institution responsible for electoral justice.
- Therefore, in order to guarantee the autonomy and impartiality of bodies responsible for electoral dispute resolution, their legal independence should be ensured at the highest possible level. Thus, the separation of powers must be established at the constitutional level, where it should be clearly stated that the electoral judicial body is independent of the Executive and Legislative branches and that it is not subordinate to either of these powers.
- In order to impart justice in a manner that is absolutely faithful to the mandate of the constitution and the law, it is not enough for EDRBs to enjoy structural autonomy and functional independence. It is also necessary that those who judge electoral matters act with absolute independence, impartiality and professionalism in their individual capacity, without recognizing any subordination to any interest or will other than those stated by law.
- Decisions taken by EDR bodies should always be impartial. Officials dealing with EDR should act objectively and carry out their duties in an impartial manner, irrespective of their personal beliefs and interests.
- The principle of investigations being undertaken by independent and impartial bodies is fundamental to the credibility and legitimacy of the investigation process and outcome.