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Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

No one shall be held guilty of any penal offense on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offense, under national or international law, at the time it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offense was committed.

You should be considered innocent until it can be proved that you are guilty. If you are accused of a crime, you should always have the right to defend yourself. Nobody has the right to condemn you and punish you for something you have not done.

Illustrated version

The presumption of innocence and the right to a defence are the two important principles articulated in the first part of this article. The right to a public hearing was presented in the previous article. The principle covered in the second part of the article is the non-retroactivity of law.

non-retroactivity of law means that a person should not be punished for acts which were legal when they were committed, though later changes in the law may consider those same acts illegal.

Choose and research a famous and controversial trial. Answer these questions: Was it a fair and impartial trial? How was the verdict arrived at? What evidence was presented? What did people think before and after the trial?

In what cases would a case be brought before an international court of law instead of a state or national one?
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