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Interim proceedings

Article 6 in its civil “limb” applies only to proceedings determining civil rights or obligations. Not all interim measures determine such rights and obligations and the applicability of Article 6 of the ECHR will depend on whether certain conditions are fulfilled.
First, the right at stake in both the main and the injunction proceedings should be “civil” within the autonomous meaning of that notion under Article 6 of the Convention. Second, the nature of the interim measure, its object and purpose as well as its effects on the right in question should be scrutinised. Whenever an interim measure can be considered effectively to determine the civil right or obligation at stake, notwithstanding the length of time it is in force, Article 6 will be applicable.
However, the Court accepts that in exceptional cases - where, for example, the effectiveness of the measure sought depends upon a rapid decision-making process - it may not be possible immediately to comply with all of the requirements of Article 6. Thus, in such specific cases, while the independence and impartiality of the tribunal or the judge concerned is an indispensable and inalienable safeguard in such proceedings, other procedural safeguards may apply only to the extent compatible with the nature and purpose of the interim proceedings at issue. In any subsequent proceedings before the Court, it will fall to the Government to establish that, in view of the purpose of the proceedings at issue in a given case, one or more specific procedural safeguards could not be applied without unduly prejudicing the attainment of the objectives sought by the interim measure in question.
Micallef v Malta [2009] ECHR 1571 (interim injunction).

 

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