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Part Three The Specific Rights of the Defence, Ch.8 The Right to be Informed of the Accusation

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: 24 June 2024

Right to fair trial — Presumption of innocence — Travaux préparatoires — Rape and sexual violence — International criminal law, evidence — Drug trafficking — Nullum crimen sine lege — Fact-finding and inquiry

Article 6 section 3(a) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) guarantees every accused the right to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. Article 14 section 3(a) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is almost identical. Article 8 section 2(b) of the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR) uses a somewhat simplified formula: it guarantees the right to ‘prior notification in detail to the accused of the charges against him’. This chapter discusses the origins and purpose of the guarantee of the right of the accused to receive information regarding the charge against him, two aspects of the guarantee, the structure of the guarantee, elements of substance (including case-law and the opinions of legal scholars), and elements of form.

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