This chapter examines the procedural device of a criminal charge and its subsequent course in criminal proceedings. At first glance, this is a matter of mere legal technique, an inventory of mundane formalities. Closer inspection, however, reveals that most aspects of the legal regime on criminal charges have an important human rights dimension (fair trial) and that its formalities, as in criminal procedural law more generally, serve to guarantee individual liberty, and to guard against arbitrariness and unfairness. Counterbalancing these procedural formalities is...
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