European Court of Human Rights - case of Hummatov v. Azerbaijan (2007) (excerpts)

European Court of Human Rights - case of Hummatov v. Azerbaijan (2007) (excerpts)

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141. The Court has previously held that, provided that there has been a public hearing at first instance, the absence of “public hearings” before higher courts may be justified by the special features of the proceedings at issue. Thus, for example, appellate proceedings involving only questions of law, as opposed to questions of fact, may comply with the requirements of Article 6 even if there was no public hearing at higher courts (see K.D.B. v. the Netherlands, judgment of 27 March 1998, Reports 1998 II, p. 630, § 39). On the other hand, the Court has held that, where an appellate court has to examine a case as to the facts and the law and make a full assessment of the issue of guilt or innocence, the requirement of publicity extends to the appellate hearings as well (see, for example, Tierce and Others v. San Marino, nos. 24954/94, 24971/94 and 24972/94, § 95, ECHR 2000 IX).