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Publication

The importance of appearances

How suspects and accused persons are presented in the courtroom, in public and in the media - French national media report

May 14, 2019 - Presumption of innocence
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France has sound laws prohibiting the publication or broadcasting of images, recordings and documents which are there to safeguard the presumption of innocence. French law also criminalises the violation of the secrecy of criminal investigations and making specific allegations that portray someone as guilty before a final verdict has been reached. However, this legal apparatus appears incomplete in its scope and effectiveness.

This report presents the findings of research carried out by Fair Trials on the presentation of suspects and accused persons in the French media. Fair Trials conducted media monitoring in France to identify whether reporting on criminal investigations is consistent with the presumption of innocence, a key component of every suspect and accused person’s fundamental right to a fair trial. The monitoring was conducted pursuant to a methodology defined by the University of Vienna, a partner in this project. The report is part of “Suspects in Restraints”, an EU-funded multijurisdictional project which looks into the presentation of suspects and accused persons in the courtroom and in the media, and its impact on the right to be presumed innocent.

Download the English version of the report here.

Download the English executive summary here.

French versions of the report and the executive summary to follow soon.

 

This publication has been produced with the financial support of the Justice Programme of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Fair Trials and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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