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Eric Metcalfe, Director of Human Rights Policy
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Founded in 1957, JUSTICE is a UK-based human rights and law reform organisation. Its mission is to advance justice, human rights and the rule of law. It is also the British section of the International Commission of Jurists.
419. The sense of unfairness caused by injustice is a powerful one. As Mr Justice Megarry said in 1970, ‘those with any knowledge of human nature who pause to think for a moment’ are not likely: to underestimate the feelings of resentment of those who find that a decision against them has been made without their being afforded any opportunity to influence the course of events
420. Indeed, even the most trivial kinds of unfairness – a person cutting in front of someone else standing in a long queue, for instance – are apt to provoke strong feelings. Consider, then, the sense of unfairness that would result from being denied the opportunity to know the evidence that results in loss of one’s liberty for even a short time. The right to a fair hearing is of such basic importance because of the severity of the consequences that may result from an unfair trial or hearing: loss of liberty, loss of one’s family or one’s home, loss of income or one’s job or business, loss of compensation for damage or injury, and so forth.