Equality of Arms in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Brown v Stott (Procurator Fiscal, Dunfermline)
    • Privy Council
    • 05 Dic 2000

    It is a fundamental aspect of the right to a fair trial that criminal proceedings, including the elements of such proceedings which relate to procedure, should be adversarial and that there should be equality of arms between the prosecution and defence.

    However, as the applicant recognised (see paragraph 38 above), the entitlement to disclosure of relevant evidence is not an absolute right.

    The jurisprudence of the European Court very clearly establishes that while the overall fairness of a criminal trial cannot be compromised, the constituent rights comprised, whether expressly or implicitly, within article 6 are not themselves absolute. Limited qualification of these rights is acceptable if reasonably directed by national authorities towards a clear and proper public objective and if representing no greater qualification than the situation calls for.

  • O'Neill v Phillips
    • House of Lords
    • 20 May 1999

    Fourthly, the offer should, as in this case, provide for equality of arms between the parties. Both should have the same right of access to information about the company which bears upon the value of the shares and both should have the right to make submissions to the expert, though the form (written or oral) which these submissions may take should be left to the discretion of the expert himself.

  • ES v Chesterfield and North Derbyshire NHS Trust
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 25 Jul 2003

    Before the master, the application for two experts in the field of obstetrics seems largely to have been based on the argument of "equality of arms". The master rejected that argument since he drew a sharp distinction between witnesses of fact and expert witnesses.

  • Peter Cadder Appellant
    • Supreme Court (Scotland)
    • 26 Oct 2010

    Moreover, the court finds, 49 EHRR 421, 437, para 55, that, for the right to a fair trial to remain sufficiently "practical and effective", article 6(1) requires that, as a rule ("en règle générale"), access to a lawyer "should be provided as from the first interrogation of a suspect by the police, unless it is demonstrated in the light of the particular circumstances of each case that there are compelling reasons to restrict this right."

  • R Teresa G and Others v The British Red Cross Society (Intervener) The Director of Legal Aid Casework and Another
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 15 Dic 2014

    We accept the following summary of the relevant case-law given by Mr Drabble: (i) the Convention guarantees rights that are practical and effective, not theoretical and illusory in relation to the right of access to the courts ( Airey para 24, Steel and Morris para 59); (ii) the question is whether the applicant's appearance before the court or tribunal in question without the assistance of a lawyer was effective, in the sense of whether he or she was able to present the case properly and satisfactorily ( Airey para 24, McVicar para 48 and Steel and Morris para 59); (iii) it is relevant whether the proceedings taken as a whole were fair ( McVicar para 50, P,C and S para 91); (iv) the importance of the appearance of fairness is also relevant: simply because an applicant can struggle through "in the teeth of all the difficulties" does not necessarily mean that the procedure was fair ( P,C and S para 91); and (v) equality of arms must be guaranteed to the extent that each side is afforded a reasonable opportunity to present his or her case under conditions that do not place them at a substantial disadvantage vis-à-vis their opponent ( Steel and Morris para 62).

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Legislation
  • Northern Ireland Act 1998
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1998
    ......to in section 7 of the   Northern Ireland Arms Decommissioning Act 1997 . in implementing the Decommissioning section of ...person. Equality of opportunity Equality of opportunity . S-73 . The Equality Commission ......
  • Law Reform (Parent and Child) (Scotland) Act 1986
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1986
    ...... S-1 . Legal equality of children. 1 Legal equality of children. . (1) The fact that a ...children;.   . ( c . ) apply to any title, coat of arms, honour or dignity transmissible. on the death of the holder thereof or ......
  • Budget (No. 2) Act (Northern Ireland) 2014
    • Northern Ireland
    • 1 de Enero de 2014
    ...... and conservation of sea fisheries and aquaculture; support for arms length bodies, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, the Loughs Agency ... of sustainable development policy; promotion of human rights, equality of opportunity and social inclusion including gender, sexual orientation, ......
  • Budget (No. 2) Act (Northern Ireland) 2015
    • Northern Ireland
    • 1 de Enero de 2015
    ...... and conservation of sea fisheries and aquaculture; support for arms length bodies, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, the Loughs Agency ... of sustainable development policy; promotion of human rights, equality of opportunity and social inclusion including gender, sexual orientation, ......
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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
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