Principles of Fundamental Justice

The right to a fair trial

The right to a fair trial is the first basic justice principle. According to this right, a fair and certain procedure must be followed when a person is being tried. Priority should be given to the proper administering of justice before, during, and after a trial. Making sure that the judges, jury, or tribunal are qualified, autonomous, and impartial can help ensure a fair trial (Doebbler). (2006 pp.107).

The ability to silence

The ability to silence constitutes the second fundamental freedom. According to this concept, a defendant has the right to withhold his or her answers or comments before, during, or after any court proceedings. This right is protected by the Fifth Amendment and was illustrated in the case Miranda v. Arizona 384 U.S 463 (1966), (Stuart, Gary L. (2004 pp. 7).

Question 2

All the principles of fundamental justice affect the police officers in one way or another. The right to a fair trial requires that police officers conduct themselves in accordance with the law from the time of arrest, investigation and during the court process. For example, a police officer is supposed to get a search warrant before conducting any search and seizure.

The right to remain silent

The right to remain silent requires a police officer to disclose this right to a suspect before arresting them. For example, a police officer is supposed to read the Miranda rights to a suspect. Failure to do so amounts to an injustice and gives a defendant the leeway to ask the court to grant him a mistrial.

The right against self-incrimination

The right against self-incrimination requires a police officer to avoid coercion in an attempt to get a confession from a suspect (Black's Law Dictionary (1979 pp.690). For example, a police officer is not supposed to force a suspect to give answers or comments that can be used against them in a court.

The right of disclosure

The right of disclosure requires a police officer to disclose any information favorable to an accused upon request. For example, if police officer strikes a deal not to prosecute a witness in exchange for his testimony, then he must disclose it to the accused (Gershman (2006,47).


Black's Law Dictionary (5th ed.). 1979. p. 690

Doebbler, Curtis (2006). Introduction to International Human Rights Law.CD Publishing. pp. 107–108.

Gershman, Bennett L. (January 1, 2006). “Reflections on Brandy v. Maryland”. South Texas Law Review. Pace University School of Law. 47: 685

Lemons, Bryan R. “SEARCHING A VEHICLE WITHOUT A WARRANT” Web. 17 May 2017.

Stuart, Gary L. (2004). Miranda: The Story of America's Right to Remain Silent. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press

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