Audi alteram partem
Audi alteram partem (or audiatur et altera pars) is a Latin phrase that literally means "It is heard [audiatur] also the other party", "hear [audi] the other side too", or "hear the alternative party too". It is most often used to refer to the principle that no person should be judged without a fair hearing in which each party is given the opportunity to respond to the evidence against them.
"Audi alteram partem" is considered a principle of fundamental justice or equity in most legal systems. The principle includes the rights of a party or his lawyers to confront the witnesses against him, to have a fair opportunity to challenge the evidence presented by the other party, to summon one's own witnesses and to present evidence, and to have counsel, if necessary at public expense, in order to make one's case properly.
History of use
Today, legal systems differ on whether individuals can be convicted in absentia.
The principle is highly used in labour law matters in countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe.
- audi alteram partem: Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
- Audi alteram partem's entry in the duhaime.org legal dictionary
- e.g. Aeschylus, The Eumenides 431, 435
- Nuclear Tests (Australia c. France), C. I. J., December 20, 1974, p. 265