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Part Two The General Fair Trial Guarantees, Ch.4 The General Right to a Fair Trial

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 — Equality before the law — Religion — Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion — Res judicata — Fact-finding and inquiry — Equality of arms

In its standard formula for the definition of the right to a fair trial, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) mentions two aspects: the principle of equality of arms and the right to adversarial proceedings. The European Court of Human Rights concluded that the Contracting States have greater latitude when dealing with cases concerning civil rights and obligations than they have when dealing with criminal cases. An examination of the case-law reveals that the notion of fair trial is interpreted as also including other elements, in particular the right to a reasoned decision. This chapter discusses the scope of the right to a fair trial, the right to adversarial proceedings, the principle of equality of arms, the duty to disclose evidence, the importance of the presence of the prosecution at the hearing, the right to a reasoned judgment, and other aspects of fairness.

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