Adjudication of the Criminally Accused in Australia and U.S.: How Does the Absence of a Specific Due Process Clause in Australia's Constitution Impact Fair Trial Concerns for the Criminal Offender?

Kristine Mullendore, Grand Valley State University

The U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights and due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments guarantee fair trials to criminal offenders overriding other governmental actions. Australia's Constitution has no Bill of Rights and no due process clause. The Australian High Court has used comjon law principles in lieu of these constitutional guarantees as the source of protections for the accused such as requiring assistance of counsel where it is deemed necessary to provide a fair trial. This paper explores the relative impact of these different approaches on these legal systems in ensuring fair trials for criminal offenders.

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Updated 05/20/2006