Loss of the right to be elected may only be imposed following adjudication by a court.
- The right to stand as a candidate in an election, which is guaranteed by Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 and is inherent in the concept of a truly democratic regime, would be merely illusory if one could be arbitrarily deprived of it at any moment. Consequently, while it is true that States have a wide margin of appreciation when establishing eligibility conditions in the abstract, the principle that rights must be effective requires the finding that this or that candidate has failed to satisfy them to comply with a number of criteria framed to prevent arbitrary decisions. In particular, such a finding must be reached by a body which can provide a minimum of guarantees of its impartiality. Similarly, the discretion enjoyed by the body concerned must not be exorbitantly wide; it must be circumscribed, with sufficient precision, by the provisions of domestic law. Lastly, the procedure for ruling a candidate ineligible must be such as to guarantee a fair and objective decision and prevent any abuse of power on the part of the relevant authority (see Podkolzina, cited above, § 35).
- [P]rovision may be made for depriving individuals of their right to vote and to be elected, but only subject to the following cumulative conditions. ii. it must be provided for by law; iii. the proportionality principle must be observed; conditions for depriving individuals of the right to stand for election may be less strict than for disenfranchising them; iv. The deprivation must be based on ... a criminal conviction for a serious offence. v. Furthermore, the withdrawal of political rights ... may only be imposed by express decision of a court of law.
- Loss of the right to vote or stand for election may be imposed only following adjudication by a court of law and, in some countries, must be the basis of a separate judicial proceeding.