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The defense specifically has accused navy lawyers of conducting illegal surveillance of defense attorneys and news media using electronic tracking software secretly embedded in emails sent to the defense. The judge, U. Navy Capt. Aaron Rugh, adjourned the hearing without ruling yet on the defense motions. Even if the judge refuses to dismiss the case, removing the lead prosecutor, navy Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak, would probably result in a lengthy delay.

  • Criminal Appeal 69 of - Kenya Law.
  • Fair Trial Rights of the Accused: A Documentary History - Greenwood - ABC-CLIO;
  • Slocum Giant 2003: The Gunman and the Greenhorn.
  • About This Item.
  • Department of Justice - Prosecution Code.
  • NCJRS Abstract - National Criminal Justice Reference Service.

A ruling on the motions could come any time, and momentum seemed to be moving the favor of the defense. Click to enlarge. Sorry, but your browser needs Javascript to use this site.

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Migrants posing as basketball team and heading to Switzerland thwarted by Greek police Ten migrants posing as a basketball team were arrested at Athens' international airport trying to travel with illegally obtained passports, Greek police said Sunday. This section allows for joint trials where different accused, not acting together, commit different crimes at the same place and at about the same time and the prosecutor informs the court that there is admissible evidence which will be common to the different charges.

Thus if a number of persons, not acting in concert, have all stolen maize from the complainant at around the same time, it would be appropriate to allow the joint trial of X to save the complainant from being called on numerous occasions to state that the property was stolen from him. The interests of justice is a wide concept, and in the context it encompasses the interests of the individual accused as well as the wider interests of society.

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It must be emphasised that prejudice to X is the primary consideration, but the mere fact that a joint trial lawfully deprives an accused of his right to call his co-accused as a witness does not per se constitute prejudice entitling him to a separation of trials. The mere possibility of prejudice is not sufficient; there must be a probability or a substantial possibility of prejudice. In order for justice to be seen to be done criminal proceedings are normally held in public.

The public are entitled to attend criminal trials and the press is entitled to report on criminal proceedings so that the public can assure themselves that the processes of justice are fair and that persons found guilty of criminal offences are appropriately punished.

It is only dictatorial regimes which make indiscriminate use of secret trials. In Zimbabwe criminal proceedings are only held in camera in exceptional circumstances for valid and justifiable reasons. Indeed, the Constitution lays down that, subject to certain specified exceptions, all court proceedings must be held in public and the outcome of trials shall be publicly announced.

Section 3 1 of the Courts and Adjudicating Authorities Publicity Restriction Act [ Chapter ] sets out the exact powers of the courts to order the exclusion of persons except parties to the proceedings and their legal representatives from the proceedings or to place restrictions on the disclosure of information pertaining to the proceedings. The grounds upon which these powers may be exercised are set out in s 3 2. Essentially, the court can use these powers if it considers this to be necessary or expedient on the grounds of defence, public safety, public order, the economic interests of the State, public morality, in the interests of the welfare of persons under the age of eighteen years, to protect witnesses who believe on reasonable grounds that harm will befall them or their families if it is known that they have given evidence, or to protect the lives of persons related to or connected with any person concerned in the proceedings.

Additionally, the responsible Minister has extensive powers to prohibit publicity and disclosure of information regarding different aspects of criminal trials where it is not in the public interest that there be such publicity or disclosure. Section 70 1 e of the Constiution provides that a person accused of a crime has the right to choose a legal practitioner and, at their own expense, to be represented by that legal practitioner. Although an accused person has a constitutional right to be legally represented at his own expense by a legal practitioner of his own choice, there are some instances where the court can order the trial to proceed without the accused having legal representation.

In the case of Nyathi HB the court stated that the trial court has a discretion, in appropriate cases, to order that the trial should proceed. The right to legal representation imposes an obligation to permit, not to ensure, legal representation. The accused had sufficient time to secure services of another legal practitioner or request a postponement to secure one. He was dilatory in securing legal representation. He should have requested for a postponement in order to do so.


Not every refusal of an adjournment or postponement of a trial to give the defence time to call a witness who is not available at court constitutes a gross irregularity. The question is whether in refusing the adjournment all the material facts were taken into consideration. In this case, the accused abandoned his intention to call his witness after two postponements failed to secure the attendance of the witness.

Section 70 1 c of the Constitution provides that a person accused of a criminal offence has the right to be represented by a legal practitioner assigned by the State and at State expense, if substantial injustice would otherwise result. Section A CPEA now provides that at the commencement of a trial in the magistrates court, before the accused is called upon to plead to the summons or charge, the magistrate must inform the accused of his or her right in terms of section to legal or other representation in terms of that section.

The magistrate must record that he or she has done this and also the response to this information. Section 3 provided that if it appeared to a magistrate that it is desirable in the interests of justice that a person who is standing trial should have legal assistance in the preparation and conduct of his defence and the means of that person are insufficient to enable him to obtain legal assistance, the magistrate may certify that the person ought to have such legal assistance. Under s 5, this person would then have a legal practitioner assigned to him if it is practicable to procure the services of a legal practitioner and the State will pay the remuneration of the legal practitioner according to a fixed tariff.

Hitherto, these provisions have almost never been invoked in criminal cases in the magistrates courts. However, over the last few years the Supreme Court has made a series of pronouncements in which it has pointed out that in certain types of cases it may be impossible for accused to receive a fair trial if they are not legally represented. The Supreme Court has said that if it is clear to the presiding magistrate that X does not have the financial means to engage his own lawyer, the magistrate should certify that it is in the interests of justice that a lawyer paid for by the State be assigned to him.

The magistrate should so certify even if X himself or herself has not made an application for free legal representation. The cases which the Supreme Court has identified as potentially falling into the category of cases where a fair trial may not be possible in the absence of legal representation are complex cases involving such things as problematical points of statutory interpretation or of evidence or of sentencing or where long prison sentences are likely.

Complex cases are cases such as:. Section 10 of the Legal Aid Act provides for the provision of legal aid in certain criminal cases. Where a magistrate believes that it is in the interests of justice that an accused person be provided with legal aid and that person may have insufficient financial means to engage his own lawyer, can recommend to the Director of the Legal Aid Directorate that the person should be provided with legal aid. In both matters dealt with by the trial magistrate the natural or legal guardians of the juveniles were not even present during the proceedings.

One may argue that in casu the juveniles were 16 years or above but this practice should be extended to all juveniles. In fact it is desirable for such children to be legally represented. In our civil law minors or juveniles cannot represent themselves in any proceedings but in our criminal justice system such minors are given capacity to represent themselves as it were.

The same juvenile would be regarded in civil court as incapable of enforcing or defending its rights. What is different is that the criminal system of justice affords the unassisted minor the capacity to defend himself. If a witness has been served with a subpoena to appear in the court named at the particular date and time and he fails to appear, he can be punished under s 3 CPEA. Acting under this section, the prosecutor will hand the magistrate the return of service or he may prove service by evidence on oath. He will then apply for a warrant of arrest.

On the arrest of the witness, the court can inquire summarily into the reasons for his non-appearance and may fine him or imprison him if he has no valid reason for his default. A witness can also be served with a particular type of subpoena , namely a subpoena duces tecum which requires the witness to produce a specified document or thing. If the witness disobeys this subpoena he can be dealt with under s CPEA.

Also, the court may warn a witness to attend. Failure to obey the warning may be treated as contempt of court. The court held on the facts that there could be no question of him having to divulge any official secret or other confidential information inimical to public policy or the public interest and the claim for privilege had to be weighed against the constitutional right of every accused person to be afforded a fair criminal trial as enjoined and guaranteed by s 18 3 of the Constitution and, in particular, the right "to obtain the attendance and carry out the examination of witnesses to testify on his behalf".

At the time the magistrate enters the court, the orderly will call for silence in the courtroom and all people will be expected to stand. The legal practitioners will bow to the magistrate before he is seated. At the start of the trial, X will be required to be in the dock. However, if a company is being prosecuted, a representative of the company who is not being charged personally as well does not have to sit in the dock. When witnesses give testimony, the remaining witnesses who have not yet testified will be expected to wait outside the courtroom at a place where it is not possible for them to hear the testimony of the witnesses currently testifying.

On appeal, it was argued that a the trial judge should have ordered a separation of trials. It was held that because neither the prosecutor nor counsel for the appellant applied for a separation of trials, the judge could not order a separation mero motu. The power to order a separation is pre-conditioned by the making of an application. If no such application is made, it is not an irregularity if the court does not mero motu order a separation and there would be no grounds for review arising from the failure to order a separation.

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If an application is made, the court has a discretion as to whether to order separation of trials. There is no rule of law that separate trials should be ordered where an essential part of one accused person's defence amounts to an attack on a co-accused; this would be a matter is one which the court should take into account in determining whether to order separate trials or not.

It is not correct to say that, where co-accused persons incriminate each other, even where there is no desire to use the evidence of any of them against the other, a separation of trials should be ordered. This is provided for in s CPEA. If in the magistrates court a case is brought before a court and it appears that the case is not properly triable in this court X is not to be acquitted.

If X requests that the case be transferred, the magistrate may transfer the case. If X does not request transfer of the case, the magistrate may proceed with the trial as if the magistrate originally had jurisdiction. To try X however, X still had the right to plead to the jurisdiction of the court. The trial starts off with the reading of the charge. Before the charge is put to X, the magistrate should ensure that the charge is clearly and correctly formulated and is properly laid, either under common law or under statute.

In all cases the charge must be clearly and correctly formulated and properly laid. The offence must be properly described and adequately particularized.