Rights of Arrested and Accused Persons


Search and Entry

  1. Right to privacy.
  2. Right not to have your person, home or property searched.
  3. Right not to have your possessions seized.
  4. Right not to have information relating to your family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed.
  5. Right not to have the privacy of your communications infringed.
  6. Right, either individually or in association with others, to acquire and own property.

Arrest and Detention

  1. Right not to be detained without trial.
  2. Right not to be subjected to torture in any manner. This includes physical or psychological torture.
  3. Right not to be subjected to corporal punishment.
  4. Right not to be treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading manner.
  5. Every person has the right to freedom of movement.
  6. Every person has the right to leave their country.
  7. Every citizen has the right to enter, remain in and reside anywhere in their country.
  8. Right to be informed promptly, in language that you understand of the reason for arrest.
  9. Right to remain silent and to be informed of the consequences of not remaining silent.
  10. Right to communicate with a legal representative and other persons whose assistance is necessary.
  11. Right not to be compelled to make any confession or admission that could be used in evidence against you.
  12. Right to be held separately from persons who are serving a sentence.
  13. At the first court appearance, right to be charged. If not charged then, the right to be informed of the reason for the detention continuing, or to be released.
  14. Right to be released on bail on reasonable conditions pending a charge or trial.
  15. Right to humane treatment of persons detained, held in custody or imprisoned.
  16. Right to be brought before a court as soon as reasonably possible.

Prosecution and Court Processes

  1. Rights to administrative actions that are expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair.
  2. Right to access to justice for all persons. Nevertheless, if any fee is required, it shall be reasonable and shall not impede access to justice.
  3. Right to have any dispute that can be resolved by the application of law decided in a fair and public hearing. This could be before a court or, if appropriate, another independent and impartial tribunal or body.
  4. Right to a fair trial.
  5. Right to be presumed innocent until the contrary is proved.
  6. Right to be informed of the charge, with sufficient detail to answer it.
  7. Right to have adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence.
  8. Right to a public trial before a court established under the law.
  9. Right to have the trial begin and conclude without unreasonable delay.
  10. Right to be present when being tried unless the conduct of the defendant makes it impossible for the trial to proceed.
  11. Right to choose, and be represented by, a lawyer, and to be informed of this right promptly.
  12. Right to have a lawyer assigned to the accused person by the state and at state expense. This is so if substantial injustice would otherwise result. The accused person also has a right to be informed of this right promptly.
  13. Right to remain silent, and not to testify during the proceedings.
  14. Right to be informed in advance of the evidence the prosecution intends to rely on. Further, the accused person has rights to reasonable access to that evidence.
  15. Right to adduce and challenge evidence.
  16. Right to refuse to give self-incriminating evidence.
  17. Right to have the assistance of an interpreter without payment. However, this is only the case where the accused person cannot understand the language(s) used at the trial.


  1. Right not to be convicted for an act or omission that at the time it was committed or omitted was not an offence in the country or a crime under international law.
  2. Right not to be tried for an offence in respect of an act or omission for which the accused person has previously been either acquitted or convicted.
  3. Right to the benefit of the least severe of the prescribed punishments for an offence. This includes when the prescribed punishment for the offence has been changed between the time that the offence was committed and the time of sentencing.
  4. If convicted, right to appeal to, or apply for review by, a higher court as prescribed by law.
  5. Evidence obtained in a manner that violates any right or fundamental freedom shall be excluded. This is so if the admission of that evidence would render the trial unfair. It will also be excluded if it would otherwise be detrimental to the administration of justice and other rights of the accused
  6. Right to a copy of the record of the proceedings. However, the accused’s rights are violated of the copy is not given within a reasonable period after the case is concluded. Nevertheless, the accused person may be required to pay a reasonable fee as prescribed by law.

Author: DidiWamukoya

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