Handbook on Human Rights in China
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Handbook on Human Rights in China

Edited by Sarah Biddulph and Joshua Rosenzweig

This Handbook gives a wide-ranging account of the theory and practice of human rights in China, viewed against international standards, and China’s international engagements around human rights. The Handbook is organised into the following sections: contested meanings; international dimensions; economic and social rights; civil and political rights; rights in/action and access to justice; political dimensions of human rights in Greater China; and new frontiers.
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Chapter 23: The right to a fair trial

Elisa Nesossi


This chapter examines a number of rights subsumed under the broader definition of the right to a fair trial, one of the key guarantees in relation to legal proceedings. Specifically, it focuses on those rights that make the PRC’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) particularly problematic and hinder the ratification process. After an overview of the Chinese political-legal context within which trial proceedings take place, the chapter offers an excursus of a number of the fair trial rights set out in international standards, their legal codification and implementation in the PRC. In light of the rights included in the ICCPR, it focuses particularly on the following procedural guarantees: the right to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal; the presumption of innocence; the expeditiousness of trial; and the right to call and examine witnesses.

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