A Right To Fair Trial

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A Right To Fair Trial

A right to fair trial is an entitlement endowed in constitutions of civilized nations and those that abide by the rule of law. In such countries, trials which do not meet the standards of a fair trial are usually done again to ensure that justice is done. For a person or a case to have gone through a fair trial several standards need to be met. These standards are numerous and sometimes complicated though they are uniform in many countries. These parameters can be found in legal documents which have respect and can be taken as a guide to the direction evolution of law is headed.

Basically, the following monitors have been adopted by most courts in the world to guarantee a fair trial. Firstly, the laws of the country the case is being heard is a very important monitor of fair trial. These laws vary from country to country depending on the traditions which led to the origin of the laws (Fletcher 325).

Another monitor of fair trial is the treaties that the case or the country in question is a signatory to. An example of such a treaty is the Rome statute which many of the developed countries like the United States have refused to be signatories too.

Thirdly, the traditions, norms and customs of international is also another monitor of a fair trial in civilized countries. 

For the trial to be fair, some conditions must be met by law enforcers and the courts. Firstly, law enforcers should not arrest people arbitrarily or detain them. This is a constitutional right in the bill of rights and should not be violated in a case which seeks to attain the standard of fair trial. When law enforcers are making arrests, they should explain clearly in a language that both parties understand the reasons for being arrested, in case of language barrier, a person who qualifies to do a competent interpretation should be found to do the translation (Doebbler 129).

The arrested person’s right to legal counsel should also be respected. In fact, this is the most important monitor of a fair trial. They should be allowed to talk to their advocates all the time the case is proceeding until when it is comes to closure (Gudmundur 356).

Others conditions which should be met in a fair process trial include the right to be visited by friends, relatives or colleagues when one is in detention. The person in detention should also be taken to court on time (some countries allow law enforcers a maximum of 24 hours to prepare before taking all people in detention to court) and before a magistrate to ensure that the suspects are being detained lawfully.

At the time of hearing of the case, the court should ensure that there is an equal admission to court between the prosecution and defense. The right of the defense to a fair hearing is also mandatory whereby both the prosecution and the defense are equal before the judge. The hearing should also be carried out in a public and open place and the court or the tribunal hearing the case should be independent, impartial and competent.

In conclusion, a trial which can be deemed to have been fair should respect the right of both the defense and the prosecution from the time of arrest, during the hearing of the case, post case hearing where both sides have the right to appeal and during and after the sentencing.


Works Cited


Gudmundur, Alfredsson. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: a common standard of achievement. New York: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1999. Print.

Doebbler, Curtis. Introduction to International Human Rights Law. New York: Consolidated Graphics, 2006. Print.

Fletcher, George. Crime of Self-Defense: Bernhard Goetz and the Law on Trial, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990. Print.

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