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Part Three The Specific Rights of the Defence, Ch.10 The Right to Defend Oneself and to Have the Assistance of Counsel

From: Human Rights in Criminal Proceedings

Stefan Trechsel

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 June 2024

Right to fair trial — Legal representation, right to — Habeas corpus — Self-defence — Duty to investigate — Equality of arms — Fact-finding and inquiry

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR) feature the right of an accused to defend himself or herself and to have the assistance of counsel (the right to a defence) as one of the minimum rights or guarantees of every accused. This chapter discusses the origins of the guarantee, the structure of Article 6 section 3(c) of the ECHR, the purpose of the right to a defence, the absolute character of the right to a defence, the scope of the application of the right to a defence including the right to legal assistance outside criminal proceedings, the right to defend oneself, the right to the assistance of counsel of one’s own choosing, the right to legal aid, the right to contact with counsel, and the right to the effective assistance of counsel.

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