Right to a fair hearing: ensures that a person is entitled to a fair and public hearing, within a reasonable time, by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law, when determining her or his civil rights and obligations. This right applies to both civil and criminal cases, as well as any question and determination by or against any government entity or authority. Unlike other rights, the right to fair hearing is absolute and cannot be limited.

The right to a fair hearing implies that every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law and by a court of law. In other words, a person is presumed innocent until a court of law declares that person guilty of a crime prohibited by law.
The right to a fair hearing means that:

  1. There must be a hearing before an independent and impartial court or tribunal established by law;
  2. The applicant must have a real opportunity to present his or her case or challenge the case against him or her;
  3. The court or tribunal must give reasons for its judgment;
  4. The hearing and judgment must be made public. Exceptionally, hearings may be be held in private if:
  • it can be shown to be necessary and proportionate and in the interest of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, or
  • it is in the best interests of a child; or
  • it is required for the protection of the private life of the parties ; or
  • it is strictly necessary in special circumstances where publicity, in the court’s opinion, would compromise the interests of justice.