Due process is a procedural guarantee that must be present in all kinds of processes, not only those of a criminal order, but also of a civil, administrative or any other type.
Due process is the set of essential formalities that must be observed in any legal procedure, to ensure or defend the rights and freedoms of any person accused of committing a crime. On the one hand, it refers to the means that every person has to enforce their rights, that is, to ensure or defend their freedoms; this is known as the “right of a remedy”. Due process also includes the conditions that must be met to ensure that any person accused of a crime can defend them and guarantee the fulfillment of their rights; this is known as the “right to due process of law”.
What is meant by right to a remedy?
It is about the right that I have to appeal and to be heard publicly by a competent, independent and impartial judge or court. This means that in the case of being a person accused of committing a crime, I must be heard in a transparent and open act, before an authority that is legally competent to make decisions on the case, that is impartial, that is, that does not depend on another person and judge according to the laws and without personal, moral or political considerations.
Do the authorities have to act impartially?
Yes, the authorities, including the public ministry, must act impartially and without interference. This means that the authority must conduct itself in accordance with what is established by law and fulfill its functions objectively, prohibiting any act of intimidation, harassment, undue interference or unjustified risks; without prejudice, respecting and protecting human dignity and defending the human rights of accused persons. The government, the laws, the judges and society in general must do everything possible so that public ministries act without intimidation, obstacles, harassment, undue interference or unjustified risks.
What does Due Process refer to?
Due process is a constitutional guarantee whose purpose is to ensure that the fundamental rights of people will be protected during the hearing of a judicial or administrative action, since there are minimum rules established by law that must be respected by the authority and will allow obtaining fair results attached to their rights.
This guarantee is enshrined in the Dominican Constitution in its article 69. From which text it follows that all persons have the right to obtain effective judicial protection when exercising their rights and legitimate interests, but for this, they need to be respected. a due process, which implies that they will have the right to:
- Access to unimpeded (accessible), timely and free justice in which they are heard within a reasonable time and by a competent, independent and impartial jurisdiction, previously established by law;
- A public, oral and contradictory trial, in full equality and with respect for the right of defense;
- Be presumed innocent and treated as such until convicted by an irrevocable sentence;
- Do not testify against him;
- Not be tried twice for the same facts;
- Be judged according to pre-existing laws to the act that is imputed, before a competent judge or court and with observance of the fullness of formalities of each trial;
- That all evidence obtained in violation of the law be excluded, which will be considered null and void; Already
- Appeal any sentence before a higher court, without said court being able to aggravate the sanction imposed when only the convicted person appeals the sentence.