The ECHR judgment of 27 October 2016 in the case of Vardanyan and Nanushyan v. Armenia (application No. 8001/07).
In 2007, the applicants were assisted in preparing the application. The application was subsequently communicated to Armenia.
The complaint successfully considered the complaint of the applicants for an explanation of the judge that the party's refusal to accept the amicable agreement in the domestic proceedings could have a negative impact on the outcome of the case. The case involved violations of the requirements of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention.
CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
The first applicant complained that he was arbitrarily deprived of his home and land and that subsequently he was denied a fair trial. He complained in particular that one of the judges involved in his case was not impartial, as he was trying to force him to sign the settlement agreement, threatening him with the negative consequences of the refusal.
ISSUES OF LAW
Concerning compliance with article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention. In the legal systems of the participating States, it is not unusual for the parties to ask whether they want to conclude an amicable agreement and explain to them the procedural consequences of this action. This serves the interests of procedural economy and proper administration of justice. However, in view of the importance of the principle of judicial impartiality, judges who seek to conclude an amicable agreement with the parties should exercise caution and refrain from using expressions that, if objectively evaluated, justify legitimate fears that the judge has no impartiality.
In the present case, the judge invited the first applicant to consider the proposal for an amicable settlement. However, the expressions used by the judge at the time of the hearing (he said that the court always attached importance to the fact that the party refused to sign a reasonable settlement agreement and that this was the last opportunity for the complainant to discuss the settlement) clearly could legitimately fear that the first applicant's refusal to accept of the settlement agreement may have a negative impact on the consideration of his case on the merits. In the Court's opinion, the conduct of the judge was not distinguished by the necessary open-mindedness required by the principle of judicial neutrality, and caused an objectively justified fear that he did not have impartiality.
The violation of the requirements of Article 6 of the Convention (unanimously) was committed.
The Court also unanimously found that there had been a violation of the requirements of Article 6 § 1 of the Convention in respect of the principles of legal certainty and equality of parties and that there had been a violation of the requirements of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention.
In the application of Article 41 of the Convention. The question is not ready for consideration.