Individuals should also be able to bring their disputes before an independent judge, and challenge government action which adversely affects them.
These fundamental principles have been developed by our courts over centuries, and are now given effect partly through Article 6 of the Human Rights Act which says:
In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.
Article 6 also sets out a number of specific rights which apply to criminal defendants, such as the presumption of innocence, the right to be represented by a lawyer of your choice and the right to cross-examine witnesses against you.
Fairness has long been a key principle of our common law legal system. But in recent years the right to a fair trial has faced significant threats, which Liberty continues to challenge.
If we are all to share in our country’s freedoms and prosperity, we must therefore protect the core elements of justice: the rule of law, respect for human rights and civil liberties and access to justice.