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2 Right to a Public Trial

From: The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law

Amal Clooney, Philippa Webb

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 18 September 2021

Right to a public hearing — Derogations — Human rights remedies — Waiver — Remedies — Remedies and costs

This chapter examines the right to a public trial, which protects both the defendant in a criminal trial and the interests of society as a whole in having a fair system of open justice. Under international human rights law, the right requires that a criminal trial should be held in public and that the court’s judgment is pronounced publicly. However, the right to a public trial is not absolute. The right may, for instance, be limited by valid national security concerns, or to protect the interests of a child or victim of sexual assault. This chapter examines the circumstances in which international bodies have found that exceptions to the right to a public trial are justified, and the additional measures that may be required to ensure that a criminal trial remains fair when there are restrictions on the public nature of proceedings.

right to fair trial

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