here is a guideline for fair trial issued by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
(ICCPR). i give it in brief.
pre trial rights:
1. The prohibition on arbitrary arrest and detention
2. The right to know the reasons for arrest
3. The right to legal counsel
4. The right to a prompt appearance before a judge to challenge the lawfulness
of arrest and detention
5. The prohibition of torture and the right to humane conditions during pretrial
6. The prohibition on incommunicado detention: detention without communication.
1. Equal access to, and equality before, the courts; no in camera trial or special court trial.
2. The right to a fair hearing:
the observance of the principle of equality of arms between the defense and the prosecution.
3. The right to a public hearing:
that the hearing should as a rule be conducted orally and publicly, without a specific request by the parties to that effect.
4. The right to a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law
5. The right to a presumption of innocence:
Everyone charged with a criminal offense shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
6. The right to prompt notice of the nature and cause of criminal charges.
7. The right to adequate time and facilities for the preparation of a defense
8. The right to a trial without undue delay
9. The right to defend oneself in person or through legal counsel
10. The right to examine witnesses
11. The right to an interpreter:
if he (the accused) cannot understand or speak the language used in court” [Article 14(3)(f)]
12. The prohibition on self-incrimination:
everyone is entitled “Not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt” [Article 14(3)(g)].
13. The prohibition on retroactive application of criminal laws:
“No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed” [Article 15(1)]
14. The prohibition on double jeopardy:
“No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of
each country” [Article 14(7)].
post trial rights
1. The right to compensation for miscarriage of justice:
When a person has by a final decision been convicted of a criminal offence and when
subsequently his conviction has been reversed or he has been pardoned on the ground that a
new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively that there has been a miscarriage of justice,
the person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction shall be compensated
according to law, unless it is proved that the non-disclosure of the unknown fact in time is
wholly or partly attributable to him” [Article 14(6)].
now the question is, for lawyers and members of LCI, how many of these rights are observed in indian trials today?