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Get Involved

Introduction

Too often we encounter people imprisoned for months or years before their trial even starts, who have no idea of their rights, no comprehension of the legal system and no legal aid to help them pay for a lawyer or interpreter.

From our offices in London, Brussels, and Washington, D.C., Fair Trials’ small team of dedicated and professional staff and volunteers make an enormous difference to people’s lives. We have helped thousands of people to defend the right to a fair trial. With your support we will continue to fight individual cases of injustice and will campaign for fair trials for people all over the world.

Campaigning is an integral part of our work improving fair trial rights around the world. In Europe, we are campaigning to put fair trials at the heart of EU justice. Every day in courts and police stations across Europe, hundreds of people experience violations of their basic rights. Although the EU has made important progress in addressing the persistent problems with criminal justice systems, there is still much more work to do before it can fulfil its vision of justice, freedom and security for all its citizens.

As a charity, Fair Trials relies entirely on the generosity of our supporters to carry out our important work. Without the donation of time and money, we would not be able to help the hundreds of people each year who contact us about being arrested, or work to transform fair trial rights around the world.

We also need help to spread the word online about our work. You can get involved by sharing our Tweets, posts, videos and articles with your friends, and keeping yourself up-to-date with the latest developments in our work by signing up to our newsletter, and following the News section of our website.

How Can I Help?

  • Raise the profile of a case: share it online, or 
  • Campaign: Write to your local representative to request action on protecting fair trial rights
  • Donate to our work: Fair Trials does not charge for its services and relies on your support to help hundreds of people each year. You may also wish to consider organising your own fundraising events. We are always happy to hear what people are doing to raise funds, and help out however we can. 
  • Inform others: Tell colleagues, friends and family about how we work for a world where every person’s right to a fair trial is respected.

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE

  • Sign up for our newsletters - you'll see on campaign pages opportunities to sign up for updates on specific issues to stay up to date on our latest cases and campaign work
  • You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Volunteering

Like many other charities, Fair Trials draws on key support from volunteers to increase its impact. This takes many forms, from our LEAP network, to students who are able arrange internships through their institutions for academic credit. We also work closely with a number of city law firms whose staff work on different campaign areas with us. 

Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering for Fair Trials and contributing to our work, or visit the vacancies page.

Fundraising

Organising a sponsored event is a great way to help us raise money, whilst raising awareness of fair trial issues in your local community.

Fair Trials is grateful to those supporters who help us meet our fundraising challenge – it could be anything, from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, to holding a bake sale. The sort of event you host is only limited by your imagination – so make sure it is something you will enjoy!

If you'd like to know more, then drop us an email. Here is our advice for successful fundraising:

  • Set yourself a target: Come up with a figure you would like to reach and let potential sponsors know.
  • Spread the word: The more people who know about what you are doing, the more sponsors you will get. Let everyone know – after all, you are doing it for a good cause.
  • Be prepared: Have more information on the work of Fair Trials to give to people and also how they can get involved.
  • Gift aid: If you're in the UK, make sure that your UK donors sign a gift aid declaration. This allows us to claim an extra 25p on each £1 you raise.
  • Use Justgiving: The site allows people to easily and securely donate online, removing the inconvenience of collecting cash from individual sponsors. The site also automatically calculates and includes Giftaid for UK donors. Visit Fair Trials' section on Justgiving to create your own page.

We are always happy to hear what people are doing to raise funds.

Legacies

Leave a gift in your will

Since it was first established in 1992, Fair Trials has helped thousands of people imprisoned in countries across the world. We have prevented many high-profile miscarriages of justice and helped people return home to their families and loved ones.

One way to help us continue this important work for years to come is to consider leaving a gift in your will. Every legacy we receive can have a significant impact on our work, offering a lifeline to many more people.

If you are interested in leaving a lasting gift and would like to speak to someone from Fair Trials about it, please do not hesitate to be in touch. 

Social Media - How to stay in touch with us

Our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn channels will keep you up to date on our work and let you know how you can get involved.

You can connect with us on our social media channels to keep up to date with our latest news, advice and case studies. We also use it to highlight cases that we

 Have you seen a story that you think we should care about? Then get in touch and let us know. Increasingly, as we’ve seen through movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter – using your voice on social media can really make a difference.

Throughout our site you’ll find links to share our stories or information to make it as easy as possible.

We don’t use our social media for any kind of direct assistance, so if you’re looking for help in your own case its better to first look through the information in our Need Help section, and if you can’t find the answers you’re looking for, then follow the prompts to get in touch with us over email.

Follow us on twitter here.

You can also find individual staff members’ twitter accounts on their own staff pages.

Like us on Facebook here.

Connect with us on LinkedIn here.

While you’re at it, you can also subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

That’s it for now, but we’ll let you know if and when we set up a Pinterest, or go back to our MySpace.

Opportunities to work with us

Call for Applications for a Consultant to Research Trial Waiver Systems in Hungary

Fair Trials, in support of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, is seeking a consultant to conduct research into the use of trial waiver mechanisms in Hungarian criminal procedure. This research is being conducted in the framework of the Fair Trials coordinated Legal Experts Advisory Panel (LEAP) network and the civil society working group of the LEAP network: the JUSTICIA European Rights Network and is co-funded by the Justice Programme of the European Union.  

In April 2017, Fair Trials launched a report, The Disappearing Trial, which highlighted the fast spread of trial waiver systems – sometimes colloquially known as “plea bargaining” – across the World over the past 30 years. The report highlighted that trial waiver systems are often introduced without sufficient analysis into the potential negative consequences that the use of these systems can have on the criminal justice system as a whole. In addition, the report highlighted that, without adequate procedural safeguards being implemented the rights of criminal defendants could be placed at risk.

Trial waivers were introduced into Hungarian criminal procedure in the 1990s and were reformed with the 2017 amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure. In preparation for an in-depth study on the use of the new trial waiver mechanisms across the EU, anticipated to begin in late 2019, Fair Trials and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee wish to conduct a scoping exercise into the use of the trial waiver mechanisms in Hungary. The scoping exercise will seek to answer the following questions:

  1. What changes were implemented into the trial waiver mechanisms in use in Hungary?
  2. What impact did the initial trial waiver system have on criminal justice and the rights of defendants in Hungary and what shortcomings were identified?
  3. What are the expected impacts of the changes to the trial waiver system in Hungary and what early indications can be seen from the implementation of the new Code of Criminal Procedure?
  4. What is the relationship between the implementation of the EU’s Directives on the rights of suspects and accused persons in criminal procedure and the implementation of trial waiver systems in Hungary?

In order to answer these questions, Fair Trials is seeking to hire a consultant to conduct research in Hungary who will conduct the following activities at a minimum:

  • Conduct desk review of law and practice in Hungary related to trial waiver systems, including reviewing laws, regulations, legislative records, public reports, data and academic literature produced related to the Hungarian trial waiver systems to-date;
  • Hold interviews with at least 10 practitioners and/or government officials knowledgeable of the introduction, amendment and/or implementation of the Hungarian trial waiver systems;  
  • Participate in a small workshop – to be organized by Fair Trials and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee – in Budapest for experts to discuss the Hungarian trial waiver system; and
  • Draft a short report of approximately 20 pages (excluding annexes) summarizing the research findings, in both English and Hungarian languages.  

These activities must be completed within 20 working days of start of a consultancy contract entered into between the consultant and Fair Trials. It is not expected, however, that the work would involve 20 full working days of work. The consultant will work under the supervision of a member of staff of Fair Trials, with the advice and support of a member of staff of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, and will be paid upon receipt of a satisfactory research report.  

Interested consultants are invited to submit an application, in English, to [email protected] by no later than 17.00 CET on Monday 7 January 2019. The application should include details of the consultant’s relevant experience (e.g. C.V.’s and details of relevant projects carried out), a proposal and timeline for how the consultant intends to carry out the research, and a proposed budget to carry out the research within the specified timeframe. Selection will be based on the application that represents the best value for money, with a decision anticipated to be taken by 14th January 2019. 

Download the call for applications here

 

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Like many charities Fair Trials relies on the support of volunteers to do its work. These positions at Fair Trials have a massive impact on the charitable work we do and are an opportunity to gain an excellent insight into our work and develop extensive professional skills. 

Keep up to date

Receive updates on our work and news about Fair Trials globally

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.