2013

The equality of arms in the criminal trial - Chiricioiu Viorel
Abstract: The jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights has recognized the principle of equality of arms in the criminal trial, as part of the right to a fair trial. The principle acknowledges that no party should be placed in a substantial disadvantage against others, assuring each party’s possibility to submit their cause fairly and equitably. The principle regards the parties (including the Public Ministry) as “adversaries” in a criminal trial. The equality of arms must be respected regarding the disclosure of acts, the access to a file, the conditions of the trial. The principle must be distinguished from another component of the fair trial enunciated by the Strasbourg Court, the contradictory principle. Finally, the paper submits the way the principle finds its applicability in the Romanian legislation, including a number of normative suggestions for better respecting it.

Keywords: equality of arms; fair trial; ECHR; legality of the criminal trial

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