Fair Administrative Trial after COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:COVID-19, fair trial, administrative judiciary
The article addresses the problem of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the scope of the notion of fair administrative trial. Legal measures adopted in different countries in connection with the pandemic have modified the course of court proceedings, in particular those conducted before administrative courts. Will these modifications be permanent? The answer will be given using the dogmatic-legal and comparative method. On the basis of these, an analysis of acts of international law regulating the right to a fair trial is conducted. Selected works on the particular court proceedings’ modifications in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic are also analysed.
First, the article analyses the concept of fair administrative trial, pointing out two of its aspects, which were particularly threatened by the measures adopted in the pandemic era: openness of the proceedings and reasonable time. The second part of article identifies the legal measures adopted in different countries, dividing them into two groups, measures of suspension and measures of transformation. The first group led to the temporary suspension of court procedures. The measures from the second group limited the openness of the procedure, transferring its course to closed, remote or hybrid hearings. The third part of the article indicates possible paths for modifying the fair administrative trial after a pandemic.
In conclusion, the author states that although the concept of fair trial itself has not changed, some of the measures adopted constitute its more complete protection and, as such, should remain in individual legal systems.