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International Criminal Justice Standards - African Charter On Human And Peoples' Rights

trial guarantees fair article

The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights entered into force 21 October 1986, and as of 15 December 1999 had been ratified by all forty-nine African countries except the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Article 7 of the African Charter guarantees several fair trial rights, including notification of charges, appearance before a judicial officer, right to release pending trial, presumption of innocence, adequate preparation of the defense, speedy trial, examination of witnesses, and the right to an interpreter.

Under Article 26, African states are bound to guarantee the independence of the judiciary, which is a basic requirement for a fair trial. In addition to the above-mentioned guarantees, Articles 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the African Charter also provide for the rights to equality before the law, the equal protection of the law, the inviolability of human beings, as well as guarantees against all forms of degradation of man or any arbitrary arrest or detention.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights adopted a resolution in March 1992 on the "Right to Recourse Procedure and Fair Trial," which elaborated upon the provisions of the African Charter, including the right to an appeal to a higher court.

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