AFRICAN UNION UNION AFRICAINE UNIÃO AFRICANA African Commission on Human & Peoples’ Rights Kairaba Avenue, P. O. Box 673, Banjul, The Gambia Commission Africaine des Droits de l’Homme & des Peuples Tel: (220) 392 962; Fax: (220) 390 764 E-mail:; Website: PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES ON THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL AND LEGAL ASSISTANCE IN AFRICA The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; Recalling its mandate under Article 45(c) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter) “to formulate and lay down principles and rules aimed at solving legal problems relating to human and peoples’ rights and fundamental freedoms upon which African states may base their legislation”; Recalling Articles 5, 6, 7 and 26 of the Charter, which contain provisions relevant to the right to a fair trial; Recognising that it is necessary to formulate and lay down principles and rules to further strengthen and supplement the provisions relating to fair trial in the Charter and to reflect international standards; Recalling the resolution on the Right to Recourse and Fair Trial adopted at its 11th ordinary session in March 1992, the resolution on the Respect and the Strengthening of the Independence of the Judiciary adopted at its 19th ordinary session in March 1996 and the resolution Urging States to Envisage a Moratorium on the Death Penalty adopted at its 26th ordinary session in November 1999; Recalling also the resolution on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance, adopted at its 26th session held in November 1999, in which it decided to prepare general principles and guidelines on the right to a fair trial and legal assistance under the African Charter; Solemnly proclaims these Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Fair Trial and Legal Assistance in Africa and urges that every effort is made so that they become generally known to everyone in Africa; are promoted and protected by civil society organisations, judges, lawyers, prosecutors, academics and their professional associations; are incorporated into their domestic legislation by State parties to the Charter and respected by them: A. GENERAL PRINCIPLES APPLICABLE TO ALL LEGAL PROCEEDINGS: 1) Fair and Public Hearing In the determination of any criminal charge against a person, or of a person’s rights and obligations, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a legally constituted competent, independent and impartial judicial body.

Select target paragraph3