You have the right to a fair trial…that is if you are ever to be accused of crime. In fact your right to a fair trial is an internationally recognised human right which rarely makes for viral content (alongside other sexier declarations of human rights), but is nonetheless equally important.
Ultimately, many people who are accused of crimes will be found innocent. The goal then is to have enough safeguards in place so that when all is said and done, those found to be innocent will also be found intact with (hopefully) little losses and enough pathways to return to their regular lives.
Every person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty
This is a fundamental principle behind the right to a fair trial. It is the responsibility of the state to prove that someone is guilty, not for the suspected person to prove their innocence.
Being convicted of a crime has serious, sometimes devastating, consequences.
Therefore, States must prove guilt to a high standard. If there is ‘reasonable doubt’, an accused person must be given the benefit of the doubt and cleared because the state’s ‘burden of proof’ has not been met.
In practice there are many ways that this right is undermined.
Accused people are often treated as criminals before they have had their day in court.
We see this when :
• Law enforcement parade arrested people through. public places so they can be photographed by the media – also known as perp walks.
• Law enforcement requires accused persons to wear measures of restraint that make them appear dangerous.
Coercion is wrong on so many levels
People should not be coerced into confessing to a crime or to incriminate themselves through abusive interrogation tactics or by the threat of enhanced punishment.
Ultimately, many people who are accused of crimes will be found innocent.
The goal then is to have enough safeguards in place so that when all is said and done, those found to be innocent will also be found intact with (hopefully) little losses and enough pathways to return to their regular lives.
Fair trials are a cornerstone of democracy.
They help to :
• limit abuse by governments and state authorities.
• ensure fair and just societies
• minimize the human impact of criminal proceedings on victims, witnesses and people who are accused of crimes
Always remember that you have the right to a fair trial in the face of any accusation
If you ever need a hand here, do reach out to our experienced litigators at firstname.lastname@example.org