Discussion on Dr. Upendra Baxi’s article ‘Human Rights in the Administration of Criminal Justice: The Concept of Fair Trial’

As our readers might be aware, we have recently started the New Scholarship Section on our Blog, to promote new academic literature in the field of public law. As part of our New Scholarship Section on our blog, we have been inviting discussants to respond to specific articles. The authors will also respond to these pieces if they choose to. Previously, we have had discussions on public law themed articles from Indian Law Review (here, and here), Statute Law Review, Indian Journal of Constitutional Law, and a roundtable on India & Global Decline in Democracies. Additionally, we have also organized book discussions on Governing Islam, A Secular Need, Accidental Feminism, The Truth Machines,and Norms & Politics.

Over the next few weeks, we will run a discussion around Prof. (Dr.) Upendra Baxi’s article titled Human Rights in the Administration of Criminal Justice: The Concept of Fair Trial, published in the Annual Journal of the National Human Rights Commission, Volume-19, 2020. Dr. Upendra Baxi is Professor Emeritus at University of Warwick. The article can be accessed here.

The abstract of the article reads as follows:

“In this conversation we explore the central concept of fair trial as an integral aspect of human rights in the administration of criminal justice. We point out that a threshold human rights task is to convert the administration of criminal justice (ACJ) into a system of criminal justice (CJS). This conversation can best be achieved by construction of jural postulates of CJS. We then look at some conceptual ingredients of a fair trial and suggest steps towards a human rights oriented CJS reforms. Some of these are contested on the grounds of ‘efficiency’ and ‘morale’ of the police but it is difficult to find any human rights justifications for miscarriage of justice or denial of counsel at the stage of interrogation. We also look, in conclusion, at the importance of Article 51 of the Constitution commanding respect for conventional and customary international law.”

  • An introduction to the Paper ‘Human Rights in the Administration of Criminal Justice: The Concept of Fair Trial’ written by our former Reporter Sahil Agarwal can be found here.
  • Response to the article by Prof. Amita Dhanda titled ‘No Democratic Protest if No Fair Trial’ can be found here.
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