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Part III Substantive Guarantees, 16 Protection from Unfair Trials

From: The Law of International Human Rights Protection (2nd Edition)

Walter Kälin, Jörg Künzli

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024

Access to justice — Judicial independence/impartiality

This chapter discusses the right to protection from unfair trials. Access to justice is a central pillar of the rule of law. However, while a disorganized and ineffective judiciary is certainly not conducive to the protection of rights, a highly efficient and effective judicial system can become a powerful weapon in the hands of an authoritarian government unless it adheres to the basic tenets of international human rights law. Therefore, justice in the sense of fair and reasonable outcomes of legal disputes cannot be done unless (i) people have at least access to dispute resolution mechanisms, in particular competent courts and tribunals; (ii) judicial institutions are impartial and independent; and (iii) their procedures are fair and respect the equality of everyone in judicial proceedings. As procedural fairness is particularly important for persons facing criminal charges, human rights conventions enshrine particularly detailed procedural guarantees applicable to criminal trials.

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