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Human Rights in Criminal Proceedings$
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Stefan Trechsel

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199271207

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199271207.001.0001

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The Right to a Public Hearing

The Right to a Public Hearing

(p.117) Chapter 5 The Right to a Public Hearing
Human Rights in Criminal Proceedings

Stefan Trechsel

Oxford University Press

The right to a public hearing was one of the original trial rights considered in the quest to draft an international instrument for the protection of human rights. It must be acknowledged that the public-hearing guarantee comprises two distinct aspects. On the one hand, it is set out in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as an individual right of the accused, of somewhat doubtful value. On the other hand, it constitutes an institutional guarantee, a way of ensuring that the administration of (criminal) justice is subject to public scrutiny and contributes to respect for the law and the persons involved — not just the accused but also witnesses, experts, and other persons appearing before the court. This chapter discusses the right to a public hearing, the purpose of the guarantee of a public trial, the obligation to pronounce the judgment publicly, the possibility of waiving the right to a public trial, the substance of the right to a public hearing, and limitations and exceptions of this right.

Keywords:   public hearing, human rights, European Convention on Human Rights, accused

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