The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) launched two new tools, designed to build the capacity of legal practitioners to conduct professional trial monitoring, at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw on 26 September 2012.
The Legal Digest of International Fair Trial Rights and the revised edition of Trial Monitoring - A Reference Manual for Practitioners were produced to support trial-monitoring programmes to assist the process of judicial reform and the development of better functioning justice systems consistent with OSCE commitments on fair trial rights and the independence of the judiciary.
“A sound methodology on trial monitoring and an in-depth knowledge of fair-trial standards are essential prerequisites for legal professionals to conduct effective monitoring of judicial systems,” said Benjamin Moreau, the Chief of ODIHR’s Rule of Law Unit. “The publications will enhance ODIHR’s training programmes for legal practitioners, civil society and OSCE field operations in trial monitoring.”
The Legal Digest of International Fair Trial Rights includes a comprehensive description of these rights, together with practical checklists based on the experience of OSCE trial-monitoring operations. It builds on international standards referenced in OSCE human dimension commitments and spelled out by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.
The second edition of Trial Monitoring - A Reference Manual for Practitioners includes methodologies, tools and techniques for trial monitoring and broadens the scope of the 2008 edition to cover civil and administrative proceedings. It also provides guidance on monitoring investigative proceedings and following closed hearings.