Trial monitoring by consular officials
Consular assistance is a vital public service. For those outside their own country, detained hundreds of miles from home, unable to speak the local language, ignorant of the local legal system and with no idea of who to turn to for help, consular assistance provides a lifeline.
Fair Trials International, an organisation defending the rights of those facing charges abroad, has published new research funded by the Foundation into the provision of consular assistance to people facing criminal charges abroad.
Researchers examined policy and practice in the US, Australia, Britain, the Netherlands and Germany.
- Lists of lawyers provided to defe ndants should be reviewed annually. Consulates should exchange information on lawyers with non-governmental organisations.
- Other Ministries should review their policy on trial attendance in light of the evidence from the US that mandatory trial attendance in certain circumstances does not necessarily put extra pressure on resources.
- Data collection on trials attended should be more systematic and divided between data about the defendant and data about the trial. This information should be analysed to detect patterns.
- Training should be broadened to address the actual challenges consular officials face and the role they perform when attending trials, in particular with respect to fair trial rights.
Law in Society
Grant amount and duration
October 2008 - July 2009
- The Right to a Fair Trial under International Law
- The Realities of Relocation: Disputes of Post-Separation Migration
- The first decade of intermediaries in the criminal justice system
- Impact of special measures on jury decision-making
- Interviewing children who are reluctant to disclose sexual abuse
- An evaluation of one-stop-shops for women offenders
- Children and young adults in gangs: impact on lifecourse development