• A person who is charged with a crime has a right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the law.
  • A person charged with a crime is entitled, without discrimination, to a number of minimum guarantees, such as: - to be promptly informed of the detail and reason for the charge; - enough time and facilities to prepare a defence and communicate with a lawyer chosen by him or her; - to be tried without unreasonable delay; - to be present at the trial; - to choose to access legal representation or have legal aid, if eligible, and to be told about any eligibility if unrepresented. There is no right to legal aid beyond the eligibility set out in the Legal Aid Act 1978; - to examine prosecution witnesses, and to call witnesses on his or her behalf; - to have the free assistance of an interpreter or other necessary communication tools; and - the right not to testify against oneself and the right not to be compelled to confess guilt.
  • A person must not be tried or punished more than once for the same offence if he or she has already been convicted or acquitted of that offence in a court.
  • A person must not be found guilty of a crime if the behaviour was not against the law at the time they engaged in it.
  • If a penalty is imposed for a crime, it must not be greater than the penalty that applied at the time the offence was committed. If a penalty for an offence is reduced after a person committed the offence, but before the person is sentenced, that person is eligible for the reduced penalty.
  • These points do not apply to offences under international law.
  • The Charter Act rights apply to all persons, including children. There are Charter rights that are applicable especially for children