Your Rights To Minimum Guarantees During Criminal Proceedings Against You

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Within criminal law, you will often hear people talk about “the rights of the accused”. Whilst it might not seem fair to those who are victims of crime, the criminal justice system would not be robust as it is if there were no elements in place that ensured everyone who is charged with a crime gets a fair hearing or trial.

Australia is a signatory to several global human rights treaties, and some relate to the right of everyone to receive a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. The elements within these treaties that address these are minimum guarantees. Minimum guarantees represent minimum standards and core rights that anyone who is facing criminal prosecution has a right to. Here are the most significant ones.

To Be Informed Promptly Of The Charge

The intention behind this can be found in other minimum guarantees as they seek to ensure that everyone has the time to prepare their defence. In practical terms, it means they are told what law they are accused of breaking.

To Have Adequate Time And Facilities To Prepare A Defence And To Communicate With Counsel

Whilst the nature of each crime and the complexities of it mean it is improbable to stipulate an exact time frame for every trial, nevertheless, this speaks to the right of every accused to be able to defend themself against the charges against them. This prevents prosecutors from trying to rush a trial or a defendant not having time to gather evidence for their defence. It also allows the accused time to consult with their criminal lawyer.


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