Standards of drafting statements of reasons in judicial decisions

The National Council of Judiciary responded to another letter of the HFHR concerning the issue of judges copying passages from justifications written in other cases. The NCJ upheld its previous position on the matter. In addition, it condemned the practice of repeating lexical, stylistic and punctuation errors in the copied passages of statements of reasons.

At the same time, the NCJ also made a point that it was not authorised to review justifications for judicial decisions on their merits.

Let’s remind our readers that in its earlier response the Council argued that the use of views already expressed in courts decisions or passages from rulings entered by the same or another court (or judge) was not only allowed but even recommended to ensure the uniformity of jurisprudence. Justifications should address individual features of given proceedings and should not make reference to a number of judicial decisions and doctrinal views. The NCJ found that also the ECtHR quotes its previous judgments verbatim in new cases.

In its latest letter the Foundation expressed its doubts regarding the practice of depriving court rulings of any individual character by copying decisions issued by other adjudicating panels, almost in their entirety. This practice involves not only copying the parts of rulings devoted to the analysis of the law but also, and more disturbingly, the statements of facts. The Foundation cited the case in which the court’s reasons were almost completely copied from a previous judgement rendered by the same court sitting in a different panel. The copied version remained faithful to the original syntax, spelling and layout, even to the point of repeating punctuation errors contained in this previous judgement. Copying, in that case, had nothing to do with citing the views of the doctrine or case law.


July 6, 2018

No justice for Mehman Huseynov

Since anti-corruption blogger Mehman Huseynov was sentenced for defamation in March 2017, HRHF has been asking, “when will he find justice?”. With his appeals inside the country now exhausted, we see once again that little justice can be found for human rights defenders in Azerbaijan.

July 3, 2018

HRHF statement on Ukraine at HRC38

Human Rights House Foundation delivered the following statement on Ukraine to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC38). This statement enjoys the support of four Ukrainian human rights organisations.

July 2, 2018

Assembly and association “enable rights”

UN Special Rapporteur Clément Voule introduces his aims and priorities for freedom of assembly and association mandate, and discusses cooperation with civil society, in an interview with HRHF on the sidelines of HRC38.