A fair trial cannot be ensured, if the court itself is not transparent and reliable. There are three important criteria, which are applicable to all courts.


All courts have to be:

1. Established by law

There is a law that explains how the court functions and which rules and procedures it follows when hearing a case.

2. Independent

The judges only follow the law and are not influenced by anyone else.

3. Impartial

The judges cannot be personally interested in the outcome of the case, be prejudiced or biased.

A reliable court system

These three criteria help to ensure that the court system is stable, reliable and transparent. 

They make sure that the courts, the judges and the ways judges are appointed or elected but also the court’s budget, powers and competences cannot easily be changed and adapted to someone’s interests. This makes the court system less vulnerable to outside influences, manipulation or corruption.

The state is responsible for a well-functioning court system and has to ensure these criteria are fulfilled. Your right to fair trial will be compromised if the court that hears your case does not correspond those criteria or does not correctly observe them.

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Last updated 04/01/2017