LCIL Friday Lecture:'The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law: Shining a light on a critical human rights protection' - Prof Philippa Webb, King's College London


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Lecture summary: The right to a fair trial is a right that enables the recognition and protection of many other human rights. Its violation can be devastating to an individual defendant, but also damaging to entire societies as unfair trials are used to undermine democracy and oppress minorities. Although the right to a fair trial has been included in all international and regional human rights instruments since the Second World War and 173 states parties to the ICCPR have pledged to uphold it, the international standard for a fair trial can be elusive. Based on my book with Amal Clooney, The Right to a Fair Trial in International Law (OUP, Summer 2020), I will shine a light on certain aspects of this fundamental human right. We have attempted to explain, in granular detail, the meaning of the right to a fair trial, drawing on how the right has been applied by international bodies including United Nations committees, regional human rights courts and commissions, and international criminal courts. I will discuss the status of the right in international law, consider who enjoys the right apart from the defendant, and examine divergences in the case law on certain components of the right and potential methods of harmonisation.

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