Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
India’s Geneva Conventions Act (1960) provides: “If any person within or without India commits or attempts to commit, or abets or procures the commission by any other person of, a grave breach of any of the [1949 Geneva] Conventions he shall be punished.”
In 2008, in the Noor Aga case, India’s Supreme Court allowed an appeal against the decision of the Additional Sessions Judge, who convicted an Afghan national of illegal import of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to India. While addressing the appellant’s right to fair trial, the Court stated:
Application of international law in a case involving war crime[s] was considered by the Constitutional Court of South Africa in State v. Basson … Basson case, 2004] opining:
When allegations of such serious nature are at issue, and where the exemplary value of constitutionalism as against lawlessness is the very issue at stake, it is particularly important that the judicial and prosecutorial functions be undertaken with rigorous and principled respect for basic constitutional rights. The effective prosecution of war crimes and the rights of the accused to a fair trial are not antagonistic concepts. On the contrary, both stem from the same constitutional and humanitarian foundation, namely the need to uphold the rule of law and the basic principles of human dignity, equality and freedom.