Pastukhov v Belarus, UN Human Rights Committee (1998) (excerpts)

Pastukhov v Belarus, UN Human Rights Committee Communication 814/1998 (excerpts)

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7.3 The Committee takes note of the author's claim that he could not be removed from the bench since he had, in accordance with the law in force at the time, been elected a judge on 28 April 1994 for a term of office of 11 years. The Committee also notes that presidential decree of 24 January 1997 N°106 was not based on the replacement of the Constitutional Court with a new court but that the decree referred to the author in person and the sole reason given in the presidential decree for the dismissal of the author was stated as the expiry of his term as Constitutional Court judge, which was manifestly not the case. Furthermore, no effective judicial protections were available to the author to contest his dismissal by the executive. In these circumstances, the Committee considers that the author's dismissal from his position as a judge of the Constitutional Court, several years before the expiry of the term for which he had been appointed, constituted an attack on the independence of the judiciary and failed to respect the author's right of access, on general terms of equality, to public service in his country. Consequently, there has been a violation of article 25 (c) of the Covenant, read in conjunction with article 14, paragraph 1, on the independence of the judiciary and the provisions of article 2.