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NEWS

Helping people to understand and exercise their right to a fair trial

editor - December 3, 2015 - LEAP, legal experts advisory panel, Pre-trial detention

TEST Notes of Advice Image

Alongside fighting the underlying causes of unfair trials, and building an international network of fair trial defenders, one of Fair Trials' main objectives is to help people understand and exercise their right to a fair trial.

We do this in a variety of ways, but increasingly one of the most important is through our country advice guides. These guides are helpful not just for people facing charges, but can also act as a resource for lawyers and journalists looking for information on specific legal systems in relevant countries.

Over the past year, working with partners such as members of our LEAP network, we have worked to publish 19 new Notes of Advice providing information on criminal proceedings and defence rights of different countries and territories. We now have guides to over 30 countries, including most of Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand, which are available to access or download from our website free of charge.

These guides are designed to provide answers to the questions most commonly asked by people who have approached us for help, which includes prisoners and their family and friends back at home. For example, all of our notes include information about how to find a local lawyer, and how long criminal suspects can be held in detention before their trial starts. For those whose questions aren’t answered by the guides, there is now a form at the end that enables visitors to send further requests for information that may be helpful.

While these guides do not constitute legal advice and only provide general information, we try to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and explains what happens in each country in practice. As well as providing basic information about criminal justice systems, our notes of advice also give the details of local sources of support such as local bar associations, ombudsmen, and human rights organisations, who could be contacted for further assistance.

In addition to our collection of notes of advice on different countries’ legal systems, we also have a number of thematic guides, in which we try to answer questions on specific issues that criminal defendants may face. These include information about the European Arrest Warrant, INTERPOL Red Notices, Prisoner Transfers, and how to apply for release pending trial.

We continue to add to these Notes, so keep an eye out for updates and new countries. These guides can be an incredibly useful resource as long as people know about them, so please share them among your networks. Also, if there are countries that haven’t been covered by our guides that you think should be, then please get in touch to let us know.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on 020 7822 2370 or 07950 849 851.

For regular updates follow Fair Trials on Twitter or sign up to our monthly bulletin at the bottom of the page.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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Activities in the following sections on this website are supported by the Justice Programme of the European Union: Legal Experts Advisory Panel, Defence Rights Map, Case Law Database, Advice Guides and Latest News. More information about our financial supporters is available here.