In 2013, the applicant was assisted in preparing the application. Subsequently, the application was communicated to Croatia.
The case successfully examined the applicant's complaint that she was denied access to a fair trial by an independent and impartial court, since one of the judges who considered the complaint was the father of an intern who worked at the office of two lawyers representing the other party. There has been a violation of Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
The decision in favor of the applicant in the civil proceedings was quashed on appeal. The applicant lodged a complaint with the Supreme Court stating that she was denied access to a fair trial by an independent and impartial tribunal, because one of the judges who considered the complaint was the father of an intern who worked at the office of two lawyers representing the other party. The applicant's complaint to the Supreme Court was dismissed, and her complaint was declared inadmissible for constitutional review as constitutional proceedings.
At the Court, the applicant complained of a violation of her right to a fair trial, as provided for in Article 6 of the Convention.
ISSUES OF LAW
There were no data on the personal bias of the judge of the appellate instance. Thus, the case must be examined in terms of objective impartiality and specifically the question of whether the applicant's doubts arising from special circumstances could be regarded as objectively justified.
The nature of personal communication during the trial was important in determining whether the applicant's fears were objectively justified. There was nothing to indicate that the judge did not know that his son was working in a law firm that represented the party in the proceedings. However, it does not follow from the materials of the case that he informed the president of the court about this circumstance. If he did, then all questions about his son's participation in the case could be resolved before the case is examined. The fact that such a close relative as the son of a judge who is considering a civil case on an appeal stage had such close ties with lawyers representing the applicant's opponent as one of the parties to this civil proceedings, although he was not involved in the case and that he was with them in the relations of subordination, compromised the impartiality of the court and allowed to question it. It was impossible to determine the exact influence of the judge on the outcome of the appeal proceedings, because it was decided during a closed meeting. At the same time, it should be noted that the said judge presided over the composition of the appellate court of three judges, therefore, the applicant had reasons to believe that he played an important role in passing a decision against her, so that the impartiality of the court could be questioned.
The Court noted that, although higher courts had the authority to overturn a court decision on the grounds that the chairman of the appeal staff was not impartial, they did not do so.
In the case there was a violation of the requirements of Article 6 of the Convention (adopted by six votes "for" at one - "against").
In the application of Article 41 of the Convention. The Court awarded the applicant EUR 3,500 in respect of non-pecuniary damage.