Geneva Forum: speech delivered by Justice Michèle Rivet

“Since the attacks of September 2001, decisions being taken at both national and international levels have been touching all regions of the world,” Michèle Rivet said as a preamble. 

Many States or governments have adopted measures: pre-emptive detention without charge, long periods of pre-trial detention, restriction to the access to legal counsel, expulsion of foreigners without due consideration to the non refoulement principle, and finally, establishment of special courts that do not meet the minimum requirement of independence and impartiality.

Some governments have carried out activities shrouded in secrecy, and introduced measures that deny individuals the right to test or to challenge the legality of the actions taken against them or the lawfulness of their detention.

Many detainees have been summarily taken or expelled without due process in violation of usual extradition procedures to a country where they can be tortured with impunity. We have seen basic fair trial guarantees ignored, rights of defence cut down, and rights of appeal removed.

Genevaforum-fairtrial-advocacy-2010 (full text, PDF)

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