Concept Of Fair Trial

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U.P.E.S College of Legal Studies Academic Year: 2014-15 Session: July-December Concept of Fair Trial: A Comparative Study with USA and UK Law of Crimes 2 Project Contents Introduction 3 Introduction The right to a fair trial is a norm of international human rights law and also adopted by many countries in their procedural law. It is designed to protect individuals from the unlawful and arbitrary curtailment or deprivation of their basic rights and freedoms, the most prominent of which are the right to life and liberty of the person. The concept of fair trial is based on the basic principles of natural justice. The form and practice of the principles of natural justice may vary from system to system on the basis of prevailing…show more content…
This notion is incorporated as a right of accused person under many Conventions. Actually this principle is based on legal adage that it is better that ten criminals escape than that one innocent person is wrongfully convicted. This principle was recognized by the United States way back in 1895 in the case of Coffin v. United States that ‘the principle that there is a presumption of innocence in favour of the accused is the undoubted law, axiomatic and elementary, and its enforcement lies at the foundation of the administration of our criminal law...’ It is worth noting that the US Supreme Court has raised the presumption of innocence to the level of a fundamental right by reading it into the ‘due process’…show more content…
The presumption of innocence is in fact a legal instrument created by the law to favour the accused based on the legal inference that most people are not criminals. The presumption means: With respect to the critical facts of the case - whether the crime charged was committed and whether the defendant was the person who committed the crime - the state has the entire burden of proof. With respect to the critical facts of the case, the defendant does not have any burden of proof whatsoever. The defendant does not have to testify, call witnesses or present any other evidence, and if the defendant elects not to testify or present evidence, this decision cannot be used against him. The judge is not to draw any inferences against the defendant from the fact that he has been charged with a crime and is present in court and represented by a counsel. He must decide the case solely on the evidence presented during the trial. In Kali Ram v. State of H.P. the Supreme Court observed “it is no doubt true that wrongful acquittals are undesirable and shake the confidence of the people in the judicial system, much worse; however is the wrongful conviction of an innocent person. The consequences of the conviction of an innocent person are far more serious and its reverberations cannot be felt in a civilized

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