The Police Station
Trial By Media
Imagine being told you’re guilty before you’ve even set foot in a court.
Everyone, no matter who they are, or what they’ve been accused of, is innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, the presumption of innocence is under threat, now more than ever. Media scrutiny is a powerful way to keep courts and prosecutors in check, but it can also create problems for fair trials.
How many times have you seen the press label people guilty before trials have finished, or even begun? This can influence the decision makers, making it harder for you to defend your innocence, and harder for courts to deliver justice.
Just like in the police station, it’s crucial that you have access to a lawyer in court – legal proceedings are complicated, and if you don’t know how it all works, how will you fight your accusations?
Trials shouldn’t happen behind closed doors. There’s an old saying that "justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done." If trials aren't open, then how can anyone be sure that you've been treated fairly?
In a closed trial, there’s no way for reporters or human rights defenders to keep track of what’s happening in the court room, which means they can’t hold the state to account if they've done things wrong – this opens up the way for further threats to your human rights.
Imagine being sent to prison.
Being denied your freedom is a big deal - it's the harshest thing the state can do to you.
In a world without fair trials, this can happen to innocent people like you.
And you're not the only one. Look around you.
The Prison Cell
The problem is that when rights are ignored, it removes the trust in the system.
And when those doubts start to slip in, you find yourself questioning everything.
Every day, unfair trials cause injustice all around the world.
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Fair Trials is a human rights organisation that works to uphold fair trial rights around the world. Our vision is a world where every person’s right to a fair trial is respected. Learn more about us, and support our work: