The Right of an Accused to a Fair Trial in Criminal Administration of Justice: Testing the Fairness of a Murder Trialin Sessions Court in District Shangla of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Sara Qayum1 & Hussain Ahmad2
The notion of the right to a fair trial is designed to guarantee that every accused is entitled to due process of law through fair trial proceedings irrespective of the innocence or guilt. It also aims to save an innocent accused from the abuses of the criminal law and to avoid injustice. In Pakistan, this basic right of the accused is expressly protected under the newly inserted Article 10-A of Pakistani Constitution. This research study investigates whether an accused is practically with provided the right to a fair trial in trial courts in Pakistan in compliance with
the internationally accepted minimum fair trial standards? For this purpose, as a case study, a murder trial in Sessions Court of district Shangla of KPK province was monitored right from the registration of First Information Report (FIR) until the conclusion of the trial. The study has found that the monitored trial was mostly conducted in accord with the fair trial standards. Nevertheless, there are some areas, where the monitored trial falls short of the international fair trial standards. Finally, this study suggested various recommendations to meaningfully guarantee an accused the right to a fair trial in trial courts in Pakistan in line with the
international fair trial standards.
Keywords: Right to a Fair Trial, Fair Trial Standards, International Law,