European Court of Human Rights - case of Grieves v. the UK (2003) (excerpts)

European Court of Human Rights - case of Grieves v. the UK (2003) (excerpts)

(...)

69.  The Court recalls that in order to establish whether a tribunal can be considered “independent”, regard must be had, inter alia, to the manner of appointment of its members and their term of office, the existence of guarantees against outside pressures and to the question whether the body presents an appearance of independence.

In this latter respect, the Court also recalls that what is at stake is the confidence which such tribunals in a democratic society must inspire in the public and above all, as far as criminal proceedings are concerned, in the accused. In deciding whether there is a legitimate reason to fear that a particular court lacked independence or impartiality, the standpoint of the accused is important without being decisive. What is decisive is whether his doubts can be held to be objectively justified (Findlay v. the United Kingdom, judgment of 25 February 1997, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1997-I, § 73 and Incal v. Turkey, judgment of 9 June 1998, Reports 1998-IV, § 71).