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CONSTITUTION

(excerpts)

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Section 24
1. All persons have the right to obtain effective protection from the judges and the
courts in the exercise of their rights and legitimate interests, and in no case may
there be a lack of defense.
2. Likewise, all have the right to the ordinary judge predetermined by law; to
defense and assistance by a lawyer; to be informed of the charges brought
against them; to a public trial without undue delays and with full guarantees; to
the use of evidence appropriate to their defense; not to make self-incriminating
statements; not to plead themselves guilty; and to be presumed innocent.
• Right to counsel
• Right to examine evidence/ witnesses
• Protection from self-incrimination
• Presumption of innocence in trials
• Right to public trial
• Right to speedy trial
The law shall specify the cases in which, for reasons of family relationship or
professional secrecy, it shall not be compulsory to make statements regarding
allegedly criminal offences.

Section 25
1. No one may be convicted or sentenced for actions or omissions which when
committed did not constitute a criminal offence, misdemeanour or
administrative offence under the law then in force.
2. Punishments entailing imprisonment and security measures shall be aimed at
reeducation and social rehabilitation and may not involve forced labour. The
person sentenced to prison shall enjoy, during the imprisonment, the
fundamental rights contained in this Chapter except those expressly restricted
by the content of the sentence, the purpose of the punishment and the
penitentiary law. In any case, he or she shall be entitled to paid work and to the
appropriate Social Security benefits, as well as to access to cultural
opportunities and the overall development of his or her personality.
3. The Civil Administration may not impose penalties which directly or indirectly
imply deprivation of freedom.

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Section 120
1. Judicial proceedings shall be public, with the exceptions contemplated in the
laws on procedure.
2. Proceedings shall be predominantly oral, especially in criminal cases.
3. Judgments shall always specify the grounds therefore, and they shall be
delivered in a public hearing.

Section 121
Damages caused by judicial error as well as those arising from irregularities in the
administration of justice shall give rise to a right to compensation by the State, in
accordance with the law.

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