- Presumption of innocence — Right to fair trial — Judicial independence/impartiality — Right to silence — Witnesses — Burden of proof (and jurisdiction) — Burden of proof — Drug trafficking — Rape and sexual violence — Equality of arms — Fact-finding and inquiry
The right to be presumed innocent is spelled out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR). The restriction of the application of the specific fair-trial rights to criminal proceedings, as opposed to civil, administrative, disciplinary, or other proceedings, is legitimate. This chapter discusses the general characteristics of the guarantee of the right to be presumed innocent, and presents definitions of ‘charged with a criminal offence’, ‘presumed’, ‘innocent’, ‘proved’ guilty, and proved guilty ‘according to law’. The relationship between the presumption of innocence and other aspects of the right to a fair trial is discussed, along with the specific problems arising with the guarantee, the ‘outcome-related’ aspects of the guarantee, and the ‘reputation-related’ aspects of the guarantee.