More about the Right to Fair Trial

Section 92 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia
Articles 10, 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Articles 14, 15 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Article 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights; Articles 2, 3, 4 of the 7th Protocol to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that everyone is entitled to have their rights and legal interests defended in a fair court. The said right includes a number of aspects: the principles of fairness, transparency, independence, timeliness, objectiveness, and legitimacy of court; publicity of the court judgment, the presumption of innocence, and other guarantees to the parties involved in judicial proceedings.

Everyone shall be presumed innocent until his or her guilt is established in accordance with law. The State shall seek to ensure that the presumption of innocence is observed in all activities of law enforcement institutions as well as mass media and public activities. Everyone, where his or her rights are violated without basis, has a right to commensurate compensation.

Everyone has the right to the assistance of counsel. The State shall provide a counsel free of charge to the unprotected groups of society and take all steps necessary to ensure that low income persons can effectively exercise their right to fair court.

Provision of the right to fair court is crucial because it affects the possibility to protect other rights of an individual. A country is only law-based and democratic if the individuals in it can rely upon lawful, objective and operational actions of the law enforcement institutions.