9.7 It should also be determined whether, quite apart from the judge’s personal mindset, there are ascertainable objective facts which may raise doubts as to his impartiality. Judges must not only be impartial, they must also be seen to be impartial. When deciding whether there is a legitimate reason to fear that a particular judge lacks impartiality, the standpoint of those claiming that there is a reason to doubt his impartiality is significant but not decisive. What is decisive is whether the fear can be objectively justified.
9.8 The Committee is of the view that, since the reporting judge was an employee of the University, where he worked as an associate lecturer (one of the parties to the proceedings before the High Court of Justice of Murcia), the author could reasonably have harboured doubts as to the impartiality of the court. The Committee considers that, in the circumstances, the author’s apprehensions as to the impartiality of the judge are objectively justified and it therefore cannot be considered that there was an impartial court in the meaning of article 14, paragraph 1, of the Covenant.
10. The Human Rights Committee, acting under article 5, paragraph 4, of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is of the view that the facts before it disclose a violation of article 14, paragraph 1, of the Covenant.
11 In accordance with article 2, paragraph 3 (a), of the Covenant, the State party is required to furnish the author with an effective remedy. The State party has an obligation to take the necessary measures to ensure that similar violations do not occur in future.
12. By becoming a party to the Optional Protocol, Spain recognized the competence of the Committee to determine whether there has been a violation of the Covenant. Pursuant to article 2 of the Covenant, the State party has undertaken to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the Covenant and to furnish them with an effective remedy should it be proved that a violation has occurred. The Committee wishes to receive from the State party, within 180 days, information about the measures taken to give effect to its Views. The State party is also requested to publish the Committee’s Views.
Notă MMB: Și România e parte a Protocolului Opțional dar, spre deosebire de Spania, avem foarte, dar foarte puține cauze pe rolul Comitetului Drepturilor Omului. Totodată, cauzele de pe rolul Comitetului Drepturilor Omului, inclusiv împotriva altor state, sunt mai deloc comentate în doctrina din România deși avem articolul 20 din Constituția României și ar trebui deci cu prioritate evidențiate. De asemenea, nu există nicio carte în România care să compare jurisprudența Comitetului Drepturilor Omului cu jurisprudența analoagă a CEDO și să arate care oferă un standard mai ridicat de protecție prin raportare la fiecare drept în parte.
Comitetul Drepturilor Omului, Organizația Națiunilor Unite
(Lagunas CASTEDO împotriva Spaniei, 20 octombrie 2008, cererea nr. 1122/02, disponibilă aici)