28 March 2013
Agenda item 103
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 20 December 2012
[on the report of the Third Committee (A/67/458)]
67/187. United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Access
to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems
The General Assembly,
Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1 which enshrines the
key principles of equality before the law and the presumption of innocence, as well
as the right to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal,
along with all the guarantees necessary for the defence of anyone charged with a
penal offence, other minimum guarantees and the entitlement to be tried without
Recalling also the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 2 in
particular article 14 thereof, which states that everyone charged with a criminal
offence shall be entitled to be tried in his or her presence and to defend himself or
herself in person or through legal assistance of his or her own choosing or assigned
to him or her where the interests of justice so require, in a fair and public hearing by
a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law,
Bearing in mind the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, 3
approved by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 663 C (XXIV) of
31 July 1957 and extended by the Council by its resolution 2076 (LXII) of 13 May
1977, according to which an untried prisoner, for the purposes of his or her defence,
shall be allowed to receive visits from his or her legal adviser,
Bearing in mind also the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons
under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, 4 principle 11 of which states that a
detained person shall have the right to defend himself or herself or to be assisted by
counsel as prescribed by law,
Resolution 217 A (III).
See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
Human Rights: A Compilation of International Instruments, Volume I (First Part), Universal Instruments
(United Nations publication, Sales No. E.02.XIV.4 (Vol. I, Part 1)), sect. J, No. 34.
Resolution 43/173, annex.