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The right to a fair trial: A critical analysis

Chopra, Roshan Singh (2013) The right to a fair trial: A critical analysis. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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The concept of fairness is essential to the administration of justice. The right to a fair trial embodies this notion of fairness and informs the development of almost every aspect of law. This is most clearly visible in the criminal process. However, the practical application of the right to a fair trial raises a number of issues. In part, its presence in almost every area of law means that the right is composed by a number of other rights. Further, because the concept of fairness is not static, the right to a fair trial has an ever changing scope, content and meaning. These considerations have resulted in the absence of clear principles guiding the application of the right in the everyday administration of justice. If left unattended, there is real risk that this lack of guidance may eventually dilute the substance of the right to a fair trial. As a consequence of its fundamental nature, a weakening of the right brings implications for the continued public confidence in the administration of justice. This paper will contend that the application of the right to a fair trial should be directed toward the goals of the criminal process. This means that the right to a fair trial should protect the rights of the defendant to promote the legitimacy of the verdict. Fundamentally however, the right to a fair trial means the right that all persons have to a factually accurate verdict. The continued significance of the right to a fair trial therefore requires the formation and application of the law to be directed toward the goal of factually accuracy in the verdict and also, to reach such a verdict in a way that is fair to all parties.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Law
Supervisor(s): Finlay, Lorraine
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