Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees

Geneva Convention III
Article 103, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides: “Judicial investigations relating to a prisoner of war shall be conducted as rapidly as circumstances permit and so that his trial shall take place as soon as possible.” 
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 103, first para.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 71, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides that accused persons prosecuted by the occupying power “shall be brought to trial as rapidly as possible”. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 71, second para.
European Convention on Human Rights
Article 5(3) of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights provides: “Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1.c of this article … shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial.” 
European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Rome, 4 November 1950, as amended by Protocol No. 11, Strasbourg, 11 May 1994, Article 5(3).
European Convention on Human Rights
Article 6(1) of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights provides: “Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time.” 
European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Rome, 4 November 1950, as amended by Protocol No. 11, Strasbourg, 11 May 1994, Article 6(1).
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Article 9(3) of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides: “Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge … shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release.” 
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 2200 A (XXI), 16 December 1966, Article 9(3).
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Article 14(3)(c) of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that everyone shall be entitled “to be tried without undue delay”. 
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 2200 A (XXI), 16 December 1966, Article 14(3)(c).
American Convention on Human Rights
Article 8(1) of the 1969 American Convention on Human Rights provides: “Every person has the right to a hearing, with due guarantees and within a reasonable time.” 
American Convention on Human Rights, adopted by the OAS Inter-American Specialized Conference on Human Rights, San José, 22 November 1969, also known as Pact of San José, Article 8(1).
African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Article 7(1)(d) of the 1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights provides that every individual shall have “the right to be tried within a reasonable time by an impartial court or tribunal”. 
African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, adopted by the Eighteenth Ordinary Session of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, Nairobi, 27 June 1981, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3 rev.5, Article 7(1)(d).
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Article 40(2)(b) of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child provides: “Every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has at least the following guarantees: … (iii) to have the matter determined without delay by a competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body”. 
Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 44/25, 20 November 1989, Article 40(2)(b)(iii).
ICC Statute
Article 64(2) of the 1998 ICC Statute provides: “The Trial Chamber shall ensure that the trial is … expeditious.” Article 64(3) provides:
Upon assignment of a case for trial in accordance with this Statute, the Trial Chamber assigned to deal with the case shall … confer with the parties and adopt such procedures as are necessary to facilitate the fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Article 64(2) and (3).
ICC Statute
Article 67(1)(c) of the 1998 ICC Statute provides that the accused shall be entitled “to be tried without undue delay”. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Article 67(1)(c).
Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone
Article 17(4)(c) of the 2002 Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone provides:
In the determination of any charge against the accused pursuant to the present Statute, he or she shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality: … to be tried without undue delay. 
Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, annexed to the 2002 Agreement on the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Freetown, 16 January 2002, annexed to Letter dated 6 March 2002 from the UN Secretary-General to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/2002/246, 8 March 2002, p. 29, Article 17(4)(c).
UN-Cambodia Agreement Concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea
Article 12(2) of the 2003 UN-Cambodia Agreement Concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea provides:
The Extraordinary Chambers shall exercise their jurisdiction in accordance with international standards of justice, fairness and due process of law, as set out in Articles 14 and 15 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Cambodia is a party. 
Agreement between the UN and the Royal Government of Cambodia Concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea, Phnom Penh, 6 June 2003, Article 12(2).
In accordance with Article 2 of the Agreement, Cambodia’s Law on the Establishment of the ECCC (2001), as amended, further implements these provisions. 
Agreement between the UN and the Royal Government of Cambodia Concerning the Prosecution under Cambodian Law of Crimes Committed During the Period of Democratic Kampuchea, Phnom Penh, 6 June 2003, Article 2.
Statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon
Article 16 of the 2007 Statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon provides:
Article 16
Rights of the accused
4. In the determination of any charge against the accused pursuant to this Statute, he or she shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality:
(c) To be tried without undue delay. 
Statute of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, attached to the Agreement between the UN and the Lebanese Republic on the Establishment of a Special Tribunal for Lebanon annexed to UN Security Council Resolution 1757 of 30 May 2007, Article 16(4)(c).
Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment
Principle 38 of the 1988 Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment provides: “A person detained on a criminal charge shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial.” 
Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 43/173, 9 December 1988, Principle 38.
ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1991)
Article 8(d) of the 1991 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind provides that an individual charged with a crime against the peace and security of mankind has the right “to be tried without undue delay”. 
Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, adopted by the International Law Commission, reprinted in Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-third session, 29 April–19 July 1991, UN Doc. A/46/10, 1991, Article 8(d).
ICTY Statute
Article 20(1) of the 1993 ICTY Statute provides: “The Trial Chamber shall ensure that a trial is fair and expeditious.” 
Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, adopted by the UN Security Council, Res. 827, 25 May 1993, as amended by Res. 1166, 13 May 1998 and by Res. 1329, 30 November 2000, Article 20(1).
ICTY Statute
Article 21(4)(c) of the 1993 ICTY Statute provides that the accused shall “be tried without undue delay”. 
Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, adopted by the UN Security Council, Res. 827, 25 May 1993, as amended by Res. 1166, 13 May 1998 and by Res. 1329, 30 November 2000, Article 21(4)(c).
ICTR Statute
Article 19(1) of the 1994 ICTR Statute provides: “The Trial Chamber shall ensure that a trial is fair and expeditious.” 
Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the Territory of Rwanda and Rwandan citizens responsible for genocide and other such violations committed in the territory of neighbouring States between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994, adopted by the UN Security Council, Res. 955, 8 November 1994, as amended by Res. 1165, 30 April 1998, and by Res. 1329, 30 November 2000, Article 19(1).
ICTR Statute
Article 20(4)(c) of the 1994 ICTR Statute provides that the accused shall “be tried without undue delay”. 
Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the Territory of Rwanda and Rwandan citizens responsible for genocide and other such violations committed in the territory of neighbouring States between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994, adopted by the UN Security Council, Res. 955, 8 November 1994, as amended by Res. 1165, 30 April 1998, and by Res. 1329, 30 November 2000, Article 20(4)(c).
ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1996)
Article 11(1)(d) of the 1996 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind provides that an individual charged with a crime against the peace and security of mankind has the right “to be tried without undue delay”. 
Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind, adopted by the International Law Commission, reprinted in Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-eighth session, 6 May–26 July 1996, UN Doc. A/51/10, 1996, Article 11(1)(d).
EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
Article 47 of the 2000 EU Charter of Fundamental Rights provides: “Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time.” 
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, signed and proclaimed by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of the European Union, Nice, 7 December 2000, Article 47.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) states that the verdict shall be given in “the shortest time limit as possible”. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 5.008(2).
The manual also provides that the occupying power shall conduct the case “in the most speedy way”. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 5.029(2).
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) sets out a number of procedural rules which include, inter alia, that “investigations must be conducted as rapidly as possible”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 1042(a).
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) sets out a number of procedural rules which include, inter alia, that “investigations must be conducted as rapidly as possible”. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 10.54.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides that in an occupied territory, accused persons “must be brought to trial as rapidly as possible”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 12-6, § 54.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001), in its chapter on rights and duties of occupying powers, states that accused persons “must be brought to trial as rapidly as possible”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 1232.1.
Colombia
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) provides: “Anybody who is accused has the right to … a due … trial without unjustified delay”. 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual de Instrucción de la Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina , Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. 11.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Internees charged with disciplinary offences are entitled to a speedy trial.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1129(5).
The manual further provides that the accused “must be brought to trial as rapidly as possible”. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1330(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides that judicial criminal proceedings in occupied territory shall not last longer than the usual delay. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 2.7.b.(3).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that time limits are to apply to criminal proceedings in occupied territories. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.7.b.(3).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides: “The investigation of charges against a prisoner of war shall be carried out as quickly as circumstances permit and in such manner that his trial will take place as quickly as possible.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 230.
The manual further states that in occupied territories, the accused “must be brought to trial as rapidly as possible”. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 570.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states in its discussion on judicial proceedings against prisoners of war: “Investigation of charges must be carried out as rapidly as circumstances permit so that the trial can take place as soon as possible.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 8.133.
In its discussion on the administration of criminal law in occupied territory, the manual further states: “The accused shall be brought to trial as rapidly as possible.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 11.64 11 .
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) reproduces Article 103 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III and Article 71 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, §§ 179 and 441.
Note. Numerous pieces of domestic legislation provide for the right to be tried without undue delay. 
See, e.g., Kenya, Constitution, 1992, Article 77(1).
These have not all been listed here.
Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s Criminal Procedure Code for Military Courts (2006) states: “The military judge may, for reasonable cause, grant a continuance at the request of either party, provided that it does not violate the speedy trial right of the accused.” 
Afghanistan, Criminal Procedure Code for Military Courts, 2006, Article 27.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Procedure Code (2003) states:
(1) The suspect or accused shall be entitled to be brought before the Court in the shortest reasonable time period and to be tried without delay.
(2) The Court shall also be bound to conduct the proceedings without delay and to prevent any abuse of the rights of any participant in the criminal proceedings.
(3) The duration of custody must be reduced to the shortest necessary time. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Procedure Code, 2003, Article 13.
Cambodia
Cambodia’s Law on the Establishment of the ECCC (2001), as amended in 2004, provides in its chapter on the proceedings of the Extraordinary Chambers:
Article 33 new
The extraordinary Chambers of the trial court shall ensure that trials are fair and expeditious … , with full respect for the rights of the accused and for the protection of victims and witnesses …
Article 35 new
In determining charges against the accused, the accused shall be equally entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in accordance with Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
c. to be tried without delay. 
Cambodia, Law on the Establishment of the ECCC, 2001, as amended in 2004, Articles 33 new and 35 new.
Colombia
Colombia’s Criminal Procedure Code (2004) states:
In the course of criminal proceedings, once a person has been charged with an offence, he or she has the right … :
k) to have a public, oral, adversarial and impartial trial … without unjustified delays. 
Colombia, Criminal Procedure Code, 2004, Article 8(k).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Iraq
Iraq’s Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (2005) states:
When bringing charges against the accused pursuant to this Law, the accused shall be entitled to a fair impartial trial in accordance with the following minimum guarantees:
C. To be tried without undue delay. 
Iraq, Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, 2005, Article 19(4)(C).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 103 of the Geneva Convention III and Article 71 of the Geneva Convention IV, is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
Peru
Peru’s New Code of Criminal Procedure (2004) states: “Justice shall be rendered impartially by the competent judicial organs and within a reasonable time.” 
Peru, New Code of Criminal Procedure, 2004, Article I(1).
Peru
Peru’s Code of Military and Police Justice (2006) states: “The principles of adversarial, immediate, simple and expedient proceedings shall be observed during the entire process.” 
Peru, Code of Military and Police Justice, 2006, Article 151.
The Code also states:
Every person has the right to a final judicial decision within a reasonable time in conformity with the time limits set in this Code.
Delay in issuing decisions or repeated undue delays shall be considered serious misconduct. 
Peru, Code of Military and Police Justice, 2006, Article 208.
Peru
Peru’s Military and Police Criminal Code (2010), which includes provisions on crimes under international humanitarian law, states in a chapter entitled “Procedural principles and guarantees”: “Every person has the right to a definitive judicial decision within reasonable time, in accordance with the timeframes established by the present Code.” 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Article 154; see also Articles 252–254.
In a chapter entitled “Procedures in times of armed conflict”, the Code also states:
Article 416. - Proceedings
The procedure to be followed in proceedings during international armed conflicts shall be subject to the rules established for ordinary proceedings to the extent that they apply.
Article 421. - Time limits
These proceedings shall take place within the following time limits:
1. The preparatory investigation shall take 10 days at the most and cannot be extended;
2. Once the prosecutor’s accusation has been formulated, the defence shall examine the accusation and the presented elements within twenty-four hours;
3. The oral trial shall not be initiated until two days after receiving the prosecutor’s accusation and no later than four days after such receipt;
4. The hearing shall be carried out without interruption and may only be suspended for one day; and
5. The sentence can be designated at the time when the judgment is announced or within one day thereafter. 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Articles 416 and 421.
Philippines
The Philippines’ Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure (2000), in the rule dealing with the rights of the accused at trial, states:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be entitled to the following rights:
(h) To have a speedy, impartial and public trial. 
Philippines, Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, 2000, Rule 115, Section 1(h).
Philippines
The Philippines’ Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law (2002) states:
Sec. 26. Duty of the Family Court to Protect the Rights of the Juvenile. – In all criminal proceedings in the Family Court, the judge shall ensure the protection of the following rights of the juvenile in conflict with the law:
h) To have speedy and impartial trial, with legal or other appropriate assistance and preferably in the presence of his parents or legal guardian, unless such presence is considered not to be in the best interests of the juvenile taking into account his age or other peculiar circumstances. 
Philippines, Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law, 2002, Section 26(h).
Rwanda
Rwanda’s Organic Law concerning Transfer of Cases to the Republic of Rwanda from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and from Other States (2007) provides:
Article: 13 Guarantee of rights of an accused person
Without prejudice to other rights guaranteed under the laws of Rwanda, including the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda of June 4, 2003 as amended to date or Laws relating to the Code of Criminal Procedure of Rwanda and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as ratified by the Decree Law n° 08/75 of February 12, 1975, the accused person in the case transferred by ICTR [International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda] to Rwanda is guaranteed the following rights:
5° the accused shall be entitled to a speedy trial without undue delay. 
Rwanda, Organic Law concerning Transfer of Cases to the Republic of Rwanda from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and from Other States, 2007, Article 13.
Rwanda
Rwanda’s Organic Law concerning Transfer of Cases to the Republic of Rwanda from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and from Other States (2007), as amended in 2009, states:
Without prejudice to other rights guaranteed under the laws of Rwanda, including the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda … (2003) as amended to date or [l]aws relating to the Code of Criminal Procedure [(2004)] … and the [1966] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as ratified by the Decree Law No. 08/75 of February 12, 1975, the accused person in the case transferred by [the] ICTR to Rwanda shall be guaranteed the following rights:
5º a speedy trial without undue delay. 
Rwanda, Organic Law concerning Transfer of Cases to the Republic of Rwanda from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and from Other States, 2007, as amended in 2009, Article 13(5º).
Article One: Definitions of terms
For the purpose of this Law, the following terms shall mean as follows:
Article 14: Rights of an accused person
Without prejudice to other rights guaranteed under the laws of Rwanda, including the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda of 04 June 2003 as amended to date, Laws relating to the Code of Criminal Procedure of Rwanda and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as ratified by the Decree-Law n° 08/75 of 12 February 1975, the accused person in the case transferred by ICTR [International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda], by the Mechanism or by other States to Rwanda shall be guaranteed the following rights:
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Constitution (1991) states:
23. Provision to secure protection of law.
(1) Whenever any person is charged with a criminal offence he shall[,] unless the charge is withdrawn, be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court established by law.
(10) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of any provisions of this section … to the extent that the law in question authorises the taking during a period of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists before or during that period of public emergency.
29. Public emergency.
(2) The President may issue a Proclamation of a state of public emergency only when –
a. Sierra Leone is at war; [or]
b. Sierra Leone is in imminent danger of invasion or involvement in a state of war; or
c. there is actual breakdown of public order and public safety in the whole of Sierra Leone or any part thereof to such an extent as to require extraordinary measures to restore peace and security; or
d. there is a clear and present danger of an actual breakdown of public order and public safety in the whole of Sierra Leone or any part thereof requiring extraordinary measures to avert the same; or
e. there is an occurrence of imminent danger, or the occurrence of any disaster or natural calamity affecting the community or a section of the community in Sierra Leone; or
f. there is any other public danger which clearly constitutes a threat to the existence of Sierra Leone.
(5) During a period of public emergency, the President may make such regulations and take such measures as appear to him to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of maintaining and securing peace, order and good government in Sierra Leone or any part thereof. 
Sierra Leone, Constitution, 1991, Sections 23(1) and (10) and 29(2) and (5).
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Emergency Regulations (2005), as amended to 2008, states:
A trial before the High Court under these regulations, including a High Court at Bar, shall be held as speedily as possible and in the manner provided under any other written law for other trials before the High Courts, or the High Court at Bar, as the case may be, without a jury. 
Sri Lanka, Emergency Regulations, 2005, as amended to 5 August 2008, Section 62(6).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Criminal Procedure Code (2007), as amended to 2012, which regulates the prosecution and adjudication by the federal and cantonal criminal justice authorities of offences under federal law, including war crimes, states:
Article 5
1. The criminal justice authorities shall commence criminal proceedings immediately and conclude them without unjustified delay.
2. Where an accused is in detention, the proceedings shall be conducted as a matter of urgency. 
Switzerland, Criminal Procedure Code, 2007, as amended to 2012, Article 5(1) and (2).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2006), passed by Congress following the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006, amends Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 948b. Military commissions generally
“(a) PURPOSE.—This chapter establishes procedures governing the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States for violations of the law of war and other offenses triable by military commission.
“(b) AUTHORITY FOR MILITARY COMMISSIONS UNDER THIS CHAPTER.—The President is authorized to establish military commissions under this chapter for offenses triable by military commission as provided in this chapter.
“(c) CONSTRUCTION OF PROVISIONS.—The procedures for military commissions set forth in this chapter are based upon the procedures for trial by general courts-martial under chapter 47 of this title (the Uniform Code of Military Justice). Chapter 47 of this title does not, by its terms, apply to trial by military commission except as specifically provided in this chapter. The judicial construction and application of that chapter are not binding on military commissions established under this chapter.
“(d) INAPPLICABILITY OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS.—
“(1) The following provisions of this title shall not apply to trial by military commission under this chapter:
“(A) Section 810 (article 10 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), relating to speedy trial, including any rule of courts-martial relating to speedy trial. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2006, Public Law 109-366, Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code, 17 October 2006, p. 120 Stat. 2602, § 948b(a)–(d)(A).
Venezuela
Venezuela’s Penal Procedure Code (2009), which is applicable to the prosecution of war crimes, states: “No one may be sentenced without a trial … carried out without undue delay”. 
Venezuela, Penal Procedure Code, 2009, Article 1; see also Article 327.
Venezuela
Venezuela’s Penal Procedure Code (2012), which is applicable to the prosecution of war crimes, states: “No one may be sentenced without a trial … carried out without undue delay”. 
Venezuela, Penal Procedure Code, 2012, Article 1; see also Articles 309–310 and Explanatory Notes pp. 3–4.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Constitution (1979), as amended to 2009, states:
THE DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
18 Provisions to secure protection of law
(9) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every person is entitled to be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time …
26 Interpretation and other savings
(7) No measures taken in relation to a person who is a member of a disciplined force of a country with which Zimbabwe is at war or with which a state of hostilities exists and no law, to the extent that it authorises the taking of such measures, shall be held to be in contravention of the Declaration of Rights. 
Zimbabwe, Constitution, 1979, as amended to 2009, Sections 18(9) and 26(7).
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Constitution (2013) states:
Chapter 4 – Declaration of Rights
69. Right to a fair hearing
(1) Every person accused of an offence has the right to a fair and public trial within a reasonable time before an independent and impartial court.
86. Limitation of rights and freedoms
(2) The fundamental rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter may be limited only in terms of a law of general application and to the extent that the limitation is fair, reasonable, necessary and justifiable in a democratic society based on openness, justice, human dignity, equality and freedom, taking into account all relevant factors, including –
(b) the purpose of the limitation, in particular whether it is necessary in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, regional or town planning or the general public interest;
(3) No law may limit the following rights enshrined in this Chapter, and no person may violate them –
(e) the right to a fair trial;
87. Limitations during public emergency
(1) In addition to the limitations permitted by section 86, the fundamental rights and freedoms set out in this Chapter may be further limited by a written law providing for measures to deal with situations arising during a period of public emergency, but only to the extent permitted by this section and the Second Schedule.
(4) No law that provides for a declaration of a state of emergency, and no legislative or other measure taken in consequence of such a declaration may –
(a) indemnify, or permit or authorise an indemnity for, the State or any institution or agency of the government at any level, or any other person, in respect of any unlawful act; or
(b) limit any of the rights referred to in section 86(3), or authorise or permit any of those rights to be violated. 
Zimbabwe, Constitution, 2013, Sections 69(1), 86(2)(b) and (3)(e), and 87(1) and (4).
Canada
In the Ribic case before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in 2004, the accused, a Canadian national, was charged with four counts of hostage-taking contrary to section 279.1 of Canada’s Criminal Code. 
Canada, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ribic case, Reasons for Judgment and Judgment, 16 June 2004, § 1.
In its judgment, the Court stated regarding the right of an accused to be tried within a reasonable period of time:
[15] The Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that:
11. Any person charged with an offence has the right
(b) to be tried within a reasonable time.
[16] The purpose of the provision in hand with section 7 is to protect the accused person’s right of liberty, security of the person and the ability to make full answer and defence from violation by an unreasonable delay in bringing his criminal trial to a conclusion. The interest of society as a whole in seeing that criminal cases are tried and in bringing the accused to trial without unreasonable delays has been recognized by the Court as well: R. v. Morin, 1992 CanLII 89 (S.C.C.), [1992] 1 S.C.R. 771 (S.C.C.), at p. 786. Fair trial interests find expression in section 7 of the Charter as well and there may be some overlap between considerations relevant to both sections 7 and 11(b). As Carthy J.A. said in Regina v. Williamson 2000 CanLII 3082 (ON C.A.), (2000), 144 C.C.C. (3d) 540 (Ont. C.A.) at para [29]:
The fair trial interests of the accused is an object of both s. 7 and s. 11(b). Once trial delay is sufficient to require scrutiny fair trial concerns could not be adequately assessed if prejudice of any type related to the passage of time is excluded from consideration. All relevant factors must be brought together and form the basis of the ultimate decision as to breach and remedy. A fact relevant to s. 7 concerns may also be a fact for consideration under s. 11(b).
[17] Four principal factors have been identified for examination and analysis in determining whether in any particular case, the time it takes to get the case to trial is unreasonable and in violation of the Charter. They are:
1. Length of the delay,
2. Waiver of the delay,
3. Reasons for the delay, which include
(a) inherent time requirements of the case,
(b) actions of the accused,
(c) actions of the Crown,
(d) limits on institutional resources, and
(e) other reasons for delay, and
4. Prejudice to the accused. 
Canada, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ribic case, Reasons for Judgment and Judgment, 16 June 2004, §§ 15–17.
In 2008, Canada’s Court of Appeal of Ontario dismissed an appeal to overturn the convictions on two grounds of hostage-taking. Justice Cronk, who gave the leading judgment, summarized the appellant’s arguments as follows:
Ribic inter alia … contends that the trial judge erred by refusing to stay the prosecution on the grounds that Ribic’s rights under ss. 7 and 11(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms [(Charter)] … to trial within a reasonable time had been infringed. 
Canada, Court of Appeal for Ontario, Ribic case, Judgment, 24 November 2008, § 5, per Cronk J.A.
The Court held:
[142] In his first s. 11(b) ruling, when attempting to balance society’s fundamental and important interest in bringing the accused to trial and those factors that led to significant delay and adverse impact on the appellant, the trial judge correctly noted that the crimes charged in this case are very serious offences, which are punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. He also expressly averted to Sopinka J.’s critical observation in Morin R. v. Morin, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 771], at p. 787 that: “As the seriousness of the offence increases so does the societal demand that the accused be brought to trial.”
[143] Ultimately, after weighing the competing interests in detail and referring to the applicable legal principles that guide the balancing inquiry, the trial judge concluded that the seriousness of the offences in this case and “the national and international interests in bringing this case to trial” substantially outweighed the injury to the appellant’s interests in an earlier trial.
[144] The trial judge came to a similar conclusion when he undertook a fresh s. 11(b) analysis at the conclusion of the evidential phase of the appellant’s second trial:
The passage of another year … brings the balance more towards a position favourable to the accused, but I do not see, now that I have heard all the evidence that the societal interests are lessened in any significant way. Indeed, it seems to me, at least in terms of Canada’s small role in endeavouring to assert the rule of law into the protection of UN personnel in such a civil conflagration, that the national and international societal interests in having this case prosecuted are every bit as weighty as they were a year ago, possibly even more so.
[145] I agree. The crimes charged against the appellant are grave indeed. As the trial judge observed in his original s. 11(b) ruling, they “[strike] at the core of the safety and security of [UN] personnel in every outbreak of hostilities into which they are sent”. Further, as the trial judge also stated, “Canada’s armed forces … who participate in [UN] peace-making and peace-keeping efforts around the globe … and the armed services of all of the member states of the [UN] have a very real interest in [the] trial of this case.”
[146] The delay in this case, although considerable, was not unreasonable. As this court recently stated in R. v. Godin, [2008] 237 O.A.C. 324, at para. 46, appeal as of right to the S.C.C., [2008] S.C.C.A. No. 354, there will be circumstances where trial delay, even significant trial delay, will be caused by “a constellation of explicable factors”. This is such a case.  
Canada, Court of Appeal for Ontario, Ribic case, Judgment, 24 November 2008, §§ 142–146, per Cronk J.A.
Israel
In its judgment in the Alkam case in 2007, Israel’s Military Court of Appeals for Judea and Samaria stated:
The fundamental right of the defendant that criminal procedures against him end within a reasonable time, is a corner stone of our legal system. The defendant’s right to a speedy procedure was also anchored in Article 71 to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war. 
Israel, Military Court of Appeals for Judea and Samaria, Alkam case, Judgment, 6 November 2007.
Philippines
In the Abadia case before the Supreme Court of the Philippines in 1994, an application by the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Armed Forces to annul a decision by the Court of Appeal, requiring him to show lawful cause for the continued detention of Lt. Col Malajacan without trial, was denied. In doing so, the court noted:
In the context of the constitutional protection guaranteeing fair trial rights to accused individuals particularly the Right to a Speedy Trial, we cannot accept petitioners’ submission that the absence of any specific provision limiting the time within which records of general courts martial should be forwarded to the appropriate reviewing authority and for the reviewing authority to decide on the case would deny private respondent – or any military personnel facing charges before the General Courts Martial, for that matter – a judicial recourse to protect his constitutional right to a speedy trial. What petitioners suggest is untenable. In the case at bench, the records of the case may indefinitely remain with the General Court Martial, and our courts, because of a procedural gap in the rules, cannot be called upon to ascertain whether certain substantive rights have been or are being denied in the meantime. That is not the spirit ordained by inclusion of the second paragraph of Article VIII, Section 1 of the Constitution which mandates the “duty of the Courts of Justice to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable and to determine whether or not there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government.” Moreover, the absence of rules and regulations mandating a reasonable period within which the appropriate appellate military authority should act in a case subject to mandatory review is no excuse for denial of a substantive right. The Bill of Rights provisions of the 1987 Constitution were precisely crafted to expand substantive fair trial rights and to protect citizens from procedural machinations which tend to nullify those rights. Moreover, Section 16, Article III of the Constitution extends the right to a speedy disposition of cases to cases “before all judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative bodies.” This protection extends to all citizens, including those in the military and covers the periods before, during and after the trial, affording broader protection than Section 14(2) which guarantees merely the right to a speedy trial.
These rights are clearly available to all citizens even in the absence of statutory enactment. They cannot be denied to certain individuals because of gaps in the law for which they are not responsible. They cannot be taken away from certain individuals because of the nature of their vocation. Members of the military establishment do not waive individual rights on taking up military uniform. That they become subject to uniquely military rules and procedures does not imply that they agree to exclusively fall under the jurisdiction of only those rules and regulations, and opt to stand apart from those rules which govern all of the country’s citizens. As the respondent Court correctly held:
As admitted by counsel for respondents, there is no time frame within which to transmit the records of the case to the reviewing authority as well as time limitation within which the Chief of Staff must act on the recommendation of dismissal However, it must be stressed that the absence of a rule does not give to the Chief of Staff indefinite time within which to act at the expense of the constitutional right of a citizen to enjoy liberty and to be protected from illegal or arbitrary detention.
Respondent court, therefore, did not commit an abuse of discretion in ordering the petitioners to act with dispatch in dealing with the private respondent’s case. Over three years have elapsed since the respondent’s arrest. To this day, there is no indication – and it has not been alleged – that records of the case have been forwarded to the appropriate military appellate authority.
This case does not even involve complex issues of fact and law. The central issue which the appropriate military appellate authority will have to review is whether or not the General Court Martial was correct in dismissing the case on grounds of prescription under Article 38 of the Articles of War. We cannot see why the military appellate review authority should take an interminable length of time in coming up with a decision on the case. The unjustified delay in dealing with the respondent’s case is a deliberate injustice which should not be perpetrated on the private respondent a day longer. 
Philippines, Supreme Court, Abadia case, Judgment, 23 September 1994.
Spain
In 2009, in the Gaza case, the Criminal Chamber of Spain’s National High Court was called upon to decide the appeal of the Prosecution Service in a case concerning a bombing in Gaza in 2002 by the Israeli Air Force. The Court referred to the facts of the case as falling under “offences against protected persons and objects in the event of armed conflict” in the Penal Code (1995). 
Spain, National High Court, Gaza case, Judgment, 9 June 2009, Fundamentos Jurídicos, Tercero, p. 4.
The Court noted:
B) With regard to the principle of universal justice, established in Article 23(4) of the L.O.P.J. [Law on Judicial Power (1985)], its applicability is not to be considered absolute …
… Article 17 of the [1998] … ICC Statute … lays down certain criteria on the admissibility and inadmissibility of hearing situations referred to it when certain conditions are met.
In order to determine the willingness or unwillingness [of a State] to act in a particular case, the Court shall consider, having regard to the principles of due process recognized by international law, whether one or more of the following exist, as applicable: … [t]here has been an unjustified delay in the proceedings which in the circumstances is inconsistent with the intention to bring the concerned person to justice. 
Spain, National High Court, Gaza case, Judgment, 9 June 2009, Fundamentos Jurídicos, Tercero, pp. 4–5.
In determining whether there has been a judicial process with the necessary guarantees in Israel, the court noted:
[Through] an overview of the proceedings that have been and are being conducted in Israel for the criminal and civil investigation of the acts that took place … it can be deduced that there has been a genuine and real procedure, first administrative and then judicial, to ascertain the possible commission of an offence. …
… In addition, there does not seem to be malicious or unjustified procedural delays that could interfere with the legitimate expectations of the parties to a fair and founded decision on the issues submitted to a judicial decision. 
Spain, National High Court, Gaza case, Judgment, 9 June 2009, Fundamentos Jurídicos, Quinto, p. 10.
In 2010, Spain’s Supreme Court dismissed an appeal against the judgment of the National High Court and held:
B) The right to a … process with all the [judicial] guarantees – the infringement of which is denounced [in this appeal] – has a series of concrete manifestations: the right … to be tried … without undue delay …
C) … The appeal proceedings [of the National High Court], which also allowed and led to the present appeal, in no way detract from the procedural guarantees or result in the lack of a proper defence. 
Spain, Supreme Court, Gaza case, Judgment, 4 March 2010, Section II, Primero, (B)–(C), p. 2.
Venezuela
In 2001, in the Ballestas case, the Colombian Government requested the preventive detention and extradition of a Colombian citizen belonging to the armed group known as the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army) for the crimes of rebellion, kidnapping, wrongful death, seizure and diversion of aircraft. The Chamber of Criminal Appeals of Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice stated:
[A]rticle 271 of the Constitution provides:
The proceeding for the offences of [international organized crimes, acts against the public heritage of other States and against human rights] will be brief. 
Venezuela, Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Ballestas case, Judgment, 10 December 2001, p. 13.
[emphasis in original]
Venezuela
In 2004, in the Recao case, the Constitutional Chamber of Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice was called upon to decide on an appeal against the judgment of the Court Martial, which dismissed the constitutional complaint of the defendant regarding the failure of the Military Prosecutor to request the termination of the proceedings. The tribunal held:
[T]he Prosecution Office … is autonomous … [and] cannot be obliged … to request the termination of the proceedings …
However, it can be compelled to conclude an investigation within a given period of time but this does not mean that it must conclude the latter through the termination of the proceedings.
Thus, Article 26 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela provides that, within the due process guarantees, every person that approaches the … judicial bodies [has a right to] promptly obtain a decision [on the proceedings]. Similarly, [persons have the right] to obtain, among other aspects, an expeditious justice without undue delays …
However, as a corollary of what is mentioned in Article 26 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, it is found that Article 313 of the Penal Procedure Code establishes the possibility for the indicted person to access tribunals … to obtain the fixing of a time limit … in order for the Prosecution Office to conclude the investigation … [A]s the case requires, this refers to filing the indictment [or] requesting the termination of the proceedings. …
This thus concerns the obligation of the Prosecution Office to terminate the preparatory phase [of the proceedings] as required by the case in view of the constitutional exigency of an expeditious justice … [However,] this does not mean that through this guarantee one can infringe upon the autonomy of this organ [and oblige it] to conclude an investigation in a given way. The Prosecution Office … will seek to terminate the preparatory phase [of the proceedings] by filing the indictment [or] requesting the termination of proceedings. … It is clear that in “the cases referring to the investigation of … war crimes” a time limit cannot be set for the termination of the preparatory phase [of the proceedings], as provided in Article 313 of the Penal Procedure Code.
Thus, as the Prosecution Office cannot be forced to request the termination of proceedings, the only thing that the lawyers of Isaac Pérez Recao could do was request the diligent termination of the investigation, in accordance with Article 313 of the Penal Procedure Code, as held by the [first instance] tribunal …
However, it is necessary to clarify that the lawyers [that presented the appeal] … argued that they cannot use this provision (Article 313 of the Penal Procedure Code), as the offence of military rebellion is considered to be a crime connected to war crimes.
In the opinion of this Chamber, that assertion is not absolute …
… [O]ne cannot say that a military rebellion is always an offence connected with war crimes. …
According to the assertions of the lawyers [presenting the appeal], Isaac Pérez Recao is only indicted for the offence of military rebellion, and it is thus not possible to conclude that Article 313 of the Penal Procedure Code, relating to the possibility for the indicted person to access the supervisory judge to obtain the fixing of a time limit in order for the Prosecution Office to conclude the investigation, cannot be used in the current case.
Thus, seeing as this possibility … was not exhausted before presenting the current appeal, this Chamber concludes that the appeal is inadmissible, in accordance with Article 6(5) of the Organic Law on the Protection of Constitutional Rights and Guarantees, as was correctly found by the Court Martial.
As a result, this Chamber must dismiss the appeal and confirm the decision of the Court Martial on 21 March 2003, which dismissed the constitutional complaint formulated by the private defendants of Isaac Pérez Recao. 
Venezuela, Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Recao case, Judgment, 27 July 2004, Section V, pp. 8–11.
[emphasis in original]
Afghanistan
In 2012, the Office of the President of Afghanistan issued a press release entitled “Afghan Human Rights Commission and ICRC can have regular access to Bagram prison inmates”, which stated:
[T]he chief of the [Afghan] military police, responsible for the handover[,] briefed the President on the proceedings of the handover from the American forces to the Afghans that took place on Monday as per the government’s decision.
The President has tasked all the justice and judicial authorities to speed up the processing of the prisoners cases and to provide the grounds for a fair trial, so that the innocent and the guilty be distinguished. 
Afghanistan, Office of the President, “Afghan Human Rights Commission and ICRC can have regular access to Bagram prison inmates”, Press Release, 11 September 2012.
Mexico
In 2006, during the consideration of the third periodic report of Mexico by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, a representative of Mexico stated: “The rights to a defence and a fair hearing and all rights related to due process … [are] respected. … The duration of judicial proceedings involving minors … [can] not exceed one month.” 
Mexico, Statement before the Committee on the Rights of the Child during the consideration of the third periodic report of Mexico, 1 June 2006, UN Doc. CRC/C/SR.1141, § 18.
Senegal
In 2011, in its third periodic report to the Committee against Torture, Senegal stated: “All the necessary substantive and procedural legislative amendments have now been made to … ensure that Mr. Hissène Habré can have a just, fair and speedy trial in Senegalese courts presided over by Senegalese judges”. 
Senegal, Third periodic report to the Committee against Torture, 5 October 2011, UN Doc. CAT/C/SEN/3, submitted 9 February 2011, § 269.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2006, in its sixth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, the United Kingdom stated:
Article 14
Delay in criminal proceedings
524. The Government is committed to reducing unnecessary delay in the criminal justice system. It is rarely in the interests of justice that a case becomes protracted. Measures introduced since 1997 have played an integral part in seeking to reduce delay wherever possible, but the Government fully recognizes the need to do more. Critically, the Government is trying to ensure that the needs of victims and witnesses are considered at all stages of the process. 
United Kingdom, Sixth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, UN Doc. CCPR/C/GBR/6, 18 May 2007, submitted 1 November 2006, § 524.
Uruguay
In 2003, in its second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, Uruguay stated that “article 74 of the Children and Adolescents Code establishes a range of guarantees of due process such as: … the principle of a reasonable duration of the proceedings”. 
Uruguay, Second periodic report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, 13 October 2006, UN Doc. CRC/C/URY/2, submitted 18 December 2003, § 78.
UN Economic and Social Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the strengthening of basic principles of judicial conduct, ECOSOC:
Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines in particular the principles of equality before the law, of the presumption of innocence and of the right to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal,
Recalling further that the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights both guarantee the exercise of those rights and that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights further guarantees the right to be tried without undue delay. 
ECOSOC, Res. 2007/22, 26 July 2007, preamble, adopted without a vote.
UN Economic and Social Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on international cooperation for the improvement of access to legal aid in criminal justice systems, particularly in Africa, ECOSOC:
Recalling … the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in particular article 14, which states that everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law and to minimum guarantees, including to be tried without undue delay,
Concerned at the proportion of suspects and pretrial detainees detained for long periods of time in many African countries without being charged or sentenced and without access to legal advice or assistance. 
ECOSOC, Res. 2007/24, 26 July 2007, preamble, adopted without a vote.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1984 concerning the situation of martial law in Turkey, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly urged the Turkish authorities to ensure respect for the right of individuals to have their cases heard within a reasonable time. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 822, 10 May 1984, § 17(b)(iv).
No data.
International Criminal Court
In its decision on the confirmation of charges in the Mbarushimana case in 2011, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I stated:
This approach is further justified by the limited object and purpose of the confirmation hearing which, as highlighted above, is to separate those cases which should go to trial from those which should not. In this regard, the Chamber’s consideration of the evidence is not undertaken for the purposes of determining the guilt or innocence of the suspect. A wholesale assessment as to the admissibility of each item of evidence at this stage would unjustifiably delay the proceedings and give rise to an inappropriate pre-determination of evidentiary matters which should be properly decided in light of the whole of the evidence presented at trial. Such an approach, in the view of the Chamber, would be incompatible with the fair trial rights of the suspect guaranteed under article 67 of the [1998 ICC] Statute, and in particular, the right to be tried without undue delay under article 67(l)(c) of the Statute. 
ICC, Mbarushimana case, Decision on the Confirmation of Charges, 16 December 2011, § 44.
The charges against Mr Mbarushimana related to alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Pre-Trial Chamber did not confirm the charges. 
ICC, Mbarushimana case, Decision on the Confirmation of Charges, 16 December 2011, § 340.
In its judgment of 30 May 2012, the ICC Appeals Chamber confirmed that decision and dismissed the appeal. 
ICC, Mbarushimana case, Judgment on Appeal, 30 May 2012.
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
In the Bagosora case, the principal accused was Director of the Cabinet in the Rwandan Ministry of Defence. The other three accused were officers in the Rwandan Army. The four accused were charged, inter alia, with various counts of genocide under Article 2 of the 1994 ICTR Statute. In its judgment and sentence in the case in 2008, the ICTR Trial Chamber considered the right to be tried without undue delay, stating:
The right to be tried without undue delay is guaranteed by Article 20(4)(c) of the [1994 ICTR] Statute. The Appeals Chamber has pointed out that this right only protects the accused against undue delay, which has to be decided on a case by case basis. The following factors are relevant: (a) the length of the delay; (b) the complexity of the proceedings (the number of counts, the number of accused, the number of witnesses, the quantity of evidence, the complexity of the facts and of the law); (c) the conduct of the parties; (d) the conduct of the authorities involved; and (e) the prejudice to the accused, if any. 
ICTR, Bagosora case, Judgment and sentence, 18 December 2008, § 75.
[footnotes in original omitted; emphasis in original]
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Slobodan Milošević case before the ICTY in 2001 and 2002, the accused, a former president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was charged with grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, punishable under Article 2 of the 1993 ICTY Statute, genocide, punishable under Article 4 of the 1993 ICTY Statute, crimes against humanity, punishable under Article 5 of the 1993 ICTY Statute, and violations of the laws or customs of war, punishable under Article 3 of the 1993 ICTY Statute, for his role in campaigns to forcibly remove non-Serb civilians from areas of Kosovo, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
ICTY, Slobodan Milošević case, Second Amended Indictment (Kosovo), 16 October 2001, §§ 16 and 62–68, Counts 1–5; ICTY, Slobodan Milošević case, Second Amended Indictment (Croatia), 23 October 2002, §§ 6 and 34–83, Counts 1–32; ICTY, Slobodan Milošević case, Amended Indictment (Bosnia and Herzegovina), 22 November 2002, §§ 6 and 32–45, Counts 1–29.
Responding to a Preliminary Motion relating, inter alia, to the right of the accused to a fair trial and the protection of his human rights, the Trial Chamber stated:
37. Article 9, paragraph 4, of the ICCPR [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] provides:
Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.
38. This provision is not reflected in the International Tribunal’s Statute. However, as one of the fundamental human rights of an accused person under customary international law, it is, nonetheless, applicable, and indeed, has been acted upon by this International Tribunal.
39. In Barayagwiza, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda stressed the importance of the right of the accused to invoke that provision, which in some common-law jurisdictions is called habeas corpus.
40. One of the essential features of the right of an accused person to challenge the legality of his detention is that such a challenge should be heard as promptly as possible. For that reason, the Chamber will treat this motion as the proceedings by which the accused is challenging the legality of his detention. The Chamber is in a position to do this because the challenge has been raised by the accused, and it has heard arguments on this question from all the parties, as well as the amici curiae. 
ICTY, Slobodan Milošević case, Decision on Preliminary Motions, 8 November 2001, §§ 37–40.
Following the death of the accused, proceedings were terminated by the Trial Chamber on 14 March 2006.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Simić case in 2003, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated that the rights to a fair trial are encompassed in common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and that such rights include, inter alia, “the right to be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and to trial within a reasonable time or to release”. 
ICTY, Simić case, Judgment, 17 October 2003, § 678.
Human Rights Committee
In its General Comment on Article 9 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1982, the Human Rights Committee stated: “Pre-trial detention should be an exception and as short as possible.” 
Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 8 (Article 9 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), 30 July 1982, § 3.
Human Rights Committee
In its General Comment on Article 14 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2007, the Human Rights Committee stated:
27. An important aspect of the fairness of a hearing is its expeditiousness. While the issue of undue delays in criminal proceedings is explicitly addressed in paragraph 3 (c) of article 14, delays in civil proceedings that cannot be justified by the complexity of the case or the behaviour of the parties detract from the principle of a fair hearing enshrined in paragraph 1 of this provision. Where such delays are caused by a lack of resources and chronic under-funding, to the extent possible supplementary budgetary resources should be allocated for the administration of justice.
35. The right of the accused to be tried without undue delay, provided for by article 14, paragraph 3 (c), is not only designed to avoid keeping persons too long in a state of uncertainty about their fate and, if held in detention during the period of the trial, to ensure that such deprivation of liberty does not last longer than necessary in the circumstances of the specific case, but also to serve the interests of justice. What is reasonable has to be assessed in the circumstances of each case, taking into account mainly the complexity of the case, the conduct of the accused, and the manner in which the matter was dealt with by the administrative and judicial authorities. In cases where the accused are denied bail by the court, they must be tried as expeditiously as possible. This guarantee relates not only to the time between the formal charging of the accused and the time by which a trial should commence, but also the time until the final judgement on appeal. All stages, whether in first instance or on appeal must take place “without undue delay.” 
Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 32 [Article 14: Right to Equality before Courts and Tribunals and to a Fair Trial], 23 August 2007, §§ 27 and 35.
Human Rights Committee
In its concluding observations on the third periodic report of the Sudan in 2007, the Human Rights Committee stated:
The Committee expresses concern at the permitted legal duration of detention in police custody (garde à vue), which can be prolonged to as much as six months and, in practice, beyond. It also notes with concern that in actual fact the right of the detainee … to be tried within a reasonable time, is often not respected. (arts. 7 and 9 of the [1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]) 
Human Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the third periodic report of the Sudan, UN Doc. CCPR/C/SDN/CO/3, 29 August 2007, § 21.
Human Rights Committee
In Evans v. Trinidad and Tobago in 2003, the Human Rights Committee held:
6.2 As to the claim of unreasonable pre-trial delay, the Committee observes that the relevant dates, for the purpose of determining the length of the delay in the author’s case, are the dates between the author’s arrest and trial … [T]he Committee considers that a delay of 2 years and 3 months between the author’s arrest and his trial, which has remained unexplained by the State party, constitutes a violation of the author’s right under article 9, paragraph 3, of the [1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] to be tried within a reasonable time or to release, subject however to conditions, and equally of the author’s right under article 14, paragraph 3 (c), of the Covenant to be tried without undue delay.
6.3 As to the claim of a delay of five years and nine months between conviction and the dismissal of his appeal by the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, which has also remained unexplained by the State party, the Committee recalls its jurisprudence that the rights contained in article 14, paragraphs 3 (c), and 5, read together, confer a right to review of a decision at trial without delay. In Johnson v. Jamaica, the Committee considered that, barring exceptional circumstances, a delay of four years and three months was unreasonably prolonged. As a result of these considerations, the Committee finds a violation of article 14, paragraphs 3 (c), and 5, of the Covenant. 
Human Rights Committee, Evans v. Trinidad and Tobago, Views, 5 May 2003, §§ 6.2–6.3.
Human Rights Committee
In Reece v. Jamaica in 2003, the Human Rights Committee held:
As to the claim of a violation of article 14, paragraph 3 (c) [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights], in the form of the delay of three years and one month between the filing of his notice of appeal and its eventual disposition, the Committee notes the particular circumstance of this case that the author lodged his appeal immediately at the close of trial on the day that he was convicted. Noting also that the State party has not provided any explanation for the delay or presented any factors by which the delay could be attributed to the author, the Committee considers that the facts disclose a violation of article 14, paragraph 3 (c). 
Human Rights Committee, Reece v. Jamaica, Views, 21 July 2003, § 7.5.
Human Rights Committee
In Casafranca de Gomez v. Peru in 2003, the Human Rights Committee held:
Regarding the author’s claims under article 14 [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights], the Committee takes note of the fact that [the author’s son] was, after first acquitted in 1988, ordered for retrial by a “faceless” Chamber of the Supreme Court. This alone raises issues under article 14, paragraphs 1 and 2. Taking into account that [the author’s son] was convicted after retrial in 1998, the Committee takes the view that whatever measures were taken by the Special Criminal Counter-Terrorism Chamber to guarantee [the author’s son’s] presumption of innocence, the delay of some 12 years after the original events and 10 years after the first trial resulted in a violation of the … right, under article 14, paragraph 3(c), to be tried without undue delay. In the circumstances of the case, the Committee concludes that there was a violation of article 14 of the right to a fair trial taken as a whole. 
Human Rights Committee, Casafranca de Gomez v. Peru, Views, 19 September 2003, § 7.3.
Human Rights Committee
In Filipovich v. Lithuania in 2003, the Human Rights Committee held:
As to the author’s allegations that the trial went on for too long, since the investigation began in September 1991 and the court of first instance convicted him on 1 January 1996, the Committee takes note of the State party’s arguments that the duration of the proceedings should be calculated as from the entry into force of the [1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] and the Protocol for Lithuania on 20 February 1992. The Committee nevertheless notes that, although the investigation began before the entry into force, the proceedings continued until 1996. The Committee also takes note of the fact that the State party has not given any explanation of the reason why four years and four months elapsed between the start of the investigation and the conviction in first instance. Considering that the investigation ended, according to the information available to the Committee, following the report by the forensic medical commission and that the case was not so complex as to justify a delay of four years and four months, or three years and 2 months after the preparation of the forensic medical report, the Committee concludes that there was a violation of article 14, paragraph 3 (c) [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]. 
Human Rights Committee, Filipovich v. Lithuania, Views, 19 September 2003, § 7.1.
Human Rights Committee
In Muñoz v. Spain in 2004, the Human Rights Committee held, in a majority opinion:
The author claims that there were undue delays in his trial, since almost five years elapsed between the date of the incident and the hearing. The Committee notes that the circumstances of the case involved a flagrant offence, and that the evidence required little police investigation and, as the author points out, the low level of complexity of the proceedings did not justify the delay. The Committee recalls its constant jurisprudence that exceptional reasons must be shown to justify delays – in this case, five years – until trial. In the absence of any justification advanced by the State party for the delay, the Committee concludes that there has been a violation of article 14, paragraph 3 (c), of the [1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]. 
Human Rights Committee, Muñoz v. Spain, Views, 4 February 2004, § 7.1.
Human Rights Committee
In Siewpersaud et al v. Trinidad and Tobago in 2004, Human Rights Committee stated:
6.1 With regard to the authors’ claims under article 9, paragraph 3 [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights], the Committee notes the authors were arrested in April 1985, that their trial began on 4 January 1988, and that the authors were kept in pre-trial detention throughout this period. That their pre-trial detention lasted 34 months is uncontested. The Committee recalls that pursuant to article 9, paragraph 3, anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. What period constitutes a “reasonable time” within the meaning of article 9, paragraph 3, must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. A delay of almost three years, during which the authors were kept in custody cannot be deemed compatible with article 9, paragraph 3, in the absence of special circumstances justifying such delay. The Committee finds that, in the absence of any explanation from the State party, a delay of over 34 months in bringing the author to trial is incompatible with article 9, paragraph 3.
6.2 As to the claim of a delay of four years and ten months between conviction and dismissal of the appeal, counsel has invoked article 9, paragraph 3, but as the issues raised clearly relate to article 14, paragraph 3 (c) and 5, the Committee will examine them under that article. The Committee considers that a delay of four years and 10 months between the conclusion of the trial on 19 January 1988 and the dismissal of the authors’ appeal on 29 March 1993 is incompatible with the provisions of the Covenant, in the absence of any explanation from the State party justifying the delay. The Committee accordingly concludes that there has been a violation of article 14, paragraph 5 in conjunction with paragraph 3 (c), of the Covenant. 
Human Rights Committee, Siewpersaud et. al v. Trinidad and Tobago, Views, 19 August 2004, §§ 6.1–6.2.
Human Rights Committee
In Singarasa v. Sri Lanka in 2004, the Human Rights Committee held:
As to the delay between conviction and the final dismissal of the author’s appeal by the Supreme Court (29 September 1995 to 28 January 2000) in Case no. 6825/1994, which has remained unexplained by the State party, the Committee notes … that more than two years of this period, from 3 January 1998 to 28 January 2000, relate to the time after the entry into force of the Optional Protocol [to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]. The Committee recalls its jurisprudence that the rights contained in article 14, paragraphs 3(c), and 5 [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights], read together, confer a right to review of a decision at trial without delay. In the circumstances, the Committee considers that the delay in the instant case violates the author’s right to review without delay and consequently finds a violation of article 14, paragraphs 3(c), and 5 of the Covenant. 
Human Rights Committee, Singarasa v. Sri Lanka, Views, 23 August 2004, § 7.3.
Human Rights Committee
In Kankanamge v. Sri Lanka in 2004, the Human Rights Committee stated:
On the merits, the Committee first notes that … three indictments were served on the author on 26 June 1996, 31 March 1997, and 30 September 1997 respectively. At the time of the final submissions made by the parties, none of these indictments had been finally adjudicated by the High Court. The indictments were thus pending for a period of several years from the entry into force of the Optional Protocol [to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]. In the absence of any explanation by the State party that would justify the procedural delays and although the author has not raised such a claim in his initial communication, the Committee, consistent with its previous jurisprudence, is of the opinion that the proceedings have been unreasonably prolonged, and are therefore in violation of article 14, paragraph 3 (c), of the [1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]. 
Human Rights Committee, Kankanamge v. Sri Lanka, Views, 26 August 2004, § 9.2.
Human Rights Committee
In Rouse v. Philippines in 2005, the Human Rights Committee held:
In relation to the alleged undue delays in the proceedings, the Committee notes that the Supreme Court delivered its judgment of 10 February 2003, that is over 41 months after the appeal was lodged on 3 September 1999, complemented by appeal briefs, the last of which is dated 25 May 2000. There was thus a delay of two years and eight months between the last appeal brief and the Supreme Court’s judgment. Altogether, there was a delay of six and a half years between the author’s arrest and the judgment of the Supreme Court. On the strength of the material before the Committee, these delays cannot be attributed to the author’s appeals. In the absence of any pertinent explanation from the State party, the Committee concludes that there has been a violation of article 14, paragraph 3 (c) [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]. 
Human Rights Committee, Rouse v. Philippines, Views, 5 August 2005, § 7.4.
Human Rights Committee
In Taright et al. v. Algeria in 2006, the Human Rights Committee held:
Concerning the complaint of a violation of article 14, paragraph 3 (c) [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights], the Committee notes that although the authors were charged with a number of criminal offences on 9 March 1996, the investigation and consideration of the charges did not lead to a judgement of first instance until 16 July 2003, in other words seven years and three months after the charges had been brought. Under article 14, paragraph 3 (c), everyone has the right “to be tried without undue delay”. In the Committee’s opinion, the arguments put forward by the State party cannot justify excessive delays in judicial procedure. The Committee also considers that the State party has not demonstrated that the complexity of the case and the appeal by the authors on points of law were such as to explain that delay. It therefore finds a violation of article 14, paragraph 3 (c). 
Human Rights Committee, Taright et al. v. Algeria, Views, 16 May 2006, §8.5.
Human Rights Committee
In Medjnoune v. Algeria in 2006, the Human Rights Committee held:
The Committee notes that Mr. Medjnoune is still in detention and is still awaiting trial. It notes that, according to the State party, the judicial investigation into the case was completed on 10 December 2000 and that the hearing was set for 5 May 2001 but subsequently adjourned. Today, nearly seven years after the start of the inquiry and more than five years after the first committal order, the author’s son is still in prison and is still waiting to be tried. In respect of the excessive pretrial delay, the Committee recalls that, according to its case law, “in cases involving serious charges such as homicide or murder, and where the accused is denied bail by the court, the accused must be tried in as expeditious a manner as possible”. In the case at hand, given that the son was arrested on 28 September 1999 and charged on 2 May 2000 as an accessory to murder, among other things, the Committee believes compelling reasons would have been required to justify nearly six years’ detention without trial or sentence. The State party has said that events in the region have made it impossible to try the case in the conditions of calm required for proceedings of this nature. It also informed the Committee on 28 December 2004 that the case should be scheduled for trial in the Tizi-Ouzou criminal court in the very near future. Yet nearly 18 months have passed since then without Mr. Medjnoune being brought to trial. Consequently, the Committee finds a violation of the rights under article 14, paragraph 3 (c) [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]. 
Human Rights Committee, Medjnoune v. Algeria, Views, 9 August 2006, § 8.9.
Human Rights Committee
In Larrañaga v. Philippines in 2006, the Human Rights Committee held:
The Committee has noted the State party’s explanations concerning the delay in the trial proceedings against the author. Nevertheless, it finds that the delay was caused by the authorities and that no substantial delay can be attributable to the author. In any case, the fact that the author appealed cannot be held against him. Article 14, paragraph 3(c) [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights], requires that all accused shall be entitled to be tried without undue delay, and the requirement applies equally to the right of review of conviction and sentence guaranteed by article 14, paragraph 5. The Committee considers that a delay of seven years and ten months from the author’s arrest in September 1997 to the final decision of the Supreme Court dismissing his motion for reconsideration in July 2005 is incompatible with the requirements of article 14, paragraph 3(c). 
Human Rights Committee, Larrañaga v. Philippines, Views, 14 September 2006, § 7.10.
Human Rights Committee
In E.B. v. New Zealand in 2007, the Human Rights Committee stated:
As to the claim of undue delay under article 14, paragraph 1 [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights], the Committee recalls its jurisprudence that the right to a fair trial guaranteed by this provision includes the expeditious rendering of justice, without undue delay. The Committee recalls that the issue of delay must be assessed against the overall circumstances of the case, including an assessment of the factual and legal complexity of the case. 
Human Rights Committee, E.B. v. New Zealand, Views, 21 June 2007, § 9.2.
Human Rights Committee
In Lederbauer v. Austria in 2007, the Human Rights Committee stated:
The Committee recalls that the right to a fair hearing under article 14, paragraph 1 [of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights], entails a number of requirements, including the condition that the procedure before the national tribunals must be conducted expeditiously. This guarantee relates to all stages of the proceedings, including the time until the final appeal judgement. Whether a delay is unreasonable must be assessed in the light of the circumstances of each case, taking into account, inter alia, the complexity of the case, the conduct of the parties, the manner in which the case was dealt with by the administrative and judicial authorities, and any detrimental effects that the delay may have had on the legal position of the complainant. 
Human Rights Committee, Lederbauer v. Austria, Views, 11 September 2007, § 8.1.
African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1992 on the right to recourse and fair trial, the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights considered that the right to fair trial included, inter alia, the following: “In the determination of charges against individuals, the individual shall be entitled in particular to: … ii) Be tried within a reasonable time”. 
African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights, Eleventh Session, Tunis, 2–9 March 1992, Resolution on the Right to Recourse and Fair Trial, § 2(e)(ii).
African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights
In its decision in Pagnoulle v. Cameroon in 1997, the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights held:
Mr. Mazou has not yet had a judgment on his case brought before the Supreme Court over 2 years ago, without being given any reason for the delay … The delegation [of Cameroon] held that the case might be decided upon by the end of October 1996, but still no news of it has been forwarded to the Commission. Given that this case concerns Mr. Mazou’s ability to work in his profession, two years without any hearing or projected trial date constitutes a violation of [Article 7(1)(d) of the 1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights]. 
African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights, Pagnoulle v. Cameroon, Decision, 15–24 April 1997, § 19.
African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights
In its decision in Abubakar v. Ghana in 1996, involving the arrest and detention of a Ghanaian national, the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights found: “The complainant was detained in prison for seven years without trial before his escape. This period clearly violates the ‘reasonable time’ standard stipulated in the [1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights].” 
African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights, Abubakar v. Ghana, Decision, 21–31 October 1996, § 12.
European Court of Human Rights
In several cases, the European Court of Human Rights found that the reasonableness of the length of time for pre-trial detention would depend upon factors relating to the circumstances of the case, including the difficulty of the investigations, the behaviour of the accused and the handling of the case by the national authorities. 
European Court of Human Rights, Wemhoff case, Judgment, 27 June 1968, § 104; Matznetter v. Austria, Judgment, 10 November 1969, § 12; Stögmüller case, Judgment, 10 November 1969, § 16; König v. Germany, Judgment, 28 June 1978, § 99; Letellier v. France, Judgment, 26 June 1991, § 51; Kemmache v. France, Judgment, 27 November 1991, § 52; Tomasi v. France, Judgment, 27 August 1992, § 102; Olsson v. Sweden (No. 2), Judgment, 27 November 1992, § 99; Scopelliti v. Italy, Judgment, 23 November 1993, § 19.
European Court of Human Rights
In its judgment in Boddaert v. Belgium in 1992, the European Court of Human Rights stated that Article 6 of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights commanded that judicial proceedings be expeditious, but it also laid down the more general principle of the proper administration of justice. 
European Court of Human Rights, Boddaert v. Belgium, Judgment, 12 October 1992, § 39.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In a case concerning Argentina in 1989, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights referred to the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and stated that the
… reasonableness of a court order or of length of time must be weighed within its own and specific context, that is, there are no general universally valid criteria and what is involved is something that is legally known as a question of fact …
It is not possible to define this [reasonable length of time] period in abstracto, but, instead, that it shall be defined in each case … The Commission … agrees with the opinion that the referenced State party is “not bound (by the Convention) to fix a valid period for all cases, independently from the circumstances”. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 10.037 (Argentina), Resolution, 13 April 1989, Sections 11(a)(s) and 17(seventh).
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
In a case concerning Argentina in 1996, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights noted in relation to the right to a hearing within a reasonable time that a series of factors might determine the length of a trial. The relevant considerations included “the complexity of the case, the behaviour of the accused, and the diligence of the competent authorities in their conduct of the proceedings”. 
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Case 11.245 (Argentina), Report, 1 March 1996, § 111.
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Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards
The Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Institute for Human Rights of Åbo Akademi University in Turku/Åbo, Finland in 1990, provides a list of the minimum judicial guarantees, including: “The procedure … shall provide for a trial within a reasonable time.” 
Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University, Turku/Åbo, 30 November–2 December 1990, Article 9(a), IRRC, No. 282, 1991, p. 334.