Pre-trial detention and human rights in the Commonwealth: Any lessons from civil law systems?

  • Kristin Hausler British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)
  • Robert McCorquodale British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)


There are a significant percentage of people in prison or police detention across the Commonwealthwho have not been convicted of an offence. This raises many human rights issues, especially in regard topre-trial procedures. The article analyses the international legal framework and the Commonwealth legalprinciples relevant to these issues. Within the course of this examination, consideration is given to thesituation in those Commonwealth States which have a civil law criminal justice system, in order to see if theycan offer guidance for ways to improve the protection of human rights in pre-trial detention.