The right to a fair trial explained in 2 minutes!

[Text on screen]: Right to a fair trial: Article 6 of the Human Rights Act.

A fair trial is the cornerstone of a just and democratic society. Without it, law and order would hardly exist.

What does the Human Rights Act officially say?

“Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal.”

But what exactly does it mean?

Basically, if we are sent to court, we have the right to a fair trial before an unbiased judge, with a public jury and to be held within a reasonable timeframe.

When accused of a crime, we are assumed to be innocent until proven guilty by the court. While in court, we have the right to a lawyer to assist in the case.

But there are some exceptions.

Sometimes, the public and the press can be denied access to a court hearing. This can happen on the grounds of protecting:

-Public order or national security
-Children or young people

Here are three key examples of what it does for us:

1. We must have proper access to a lawyer. (Murray case, 1996)
2. Those with mental health conditions must have access to fair trials. (DG case, 2010)
3. We get free legal help when it’s necessary for justice. (Gudanaviciene case, 2014)

The courts help uphold our rights and ensure that justice is delivered in an unbiased manner.

Learn more about your rights at

The right to a fair trial explained in 2 minutes!

Published on 22 Feb 2022

This video is about Article 6 of the HRA which is the right to a fair trial. This right ensures we have access to a public and unbiased trial if we are charged with a criminal offence.

This video is part of a wider series showcasing the protections the HRA provides us and why they are so important in our daily lives. We’ve also curated a week of written content surrounding the proposed reform of the HRA so that you can stay informed and up to date on the latest developments.

The Human Rights Act is central to ensuring we can all live a safe and secure life. It sets out a range of principles that the government, and public bodies, must follow and uphold for all of us. If they fail to follow them, we have the ability to take our case to a UK court and, if our rights have been violated, we may be fairly compensated. The Human Rights Act has given us the ability to stand up to those in power.

But the Human Rights Act is under threat.

The government has announced plans to reform the HRA into a new British Bill of Rights, which lawyers and campaigners are concerned will shift more power in favour of the government, and weaken the protections we have available to us. We need to ensure that human rights are accessible and available for everyone, but we may risk losing those protections if the government’s reform comes into effect.

Want to learn more? Head on over to our spotlight page to read more about the proposals to the HRA.You can find more videos in this HRA series on our Youtube playlist.

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