Audi alteram partem
Audi alteram partem (or audiatur et altera pars) is a Latin phrase meaning "listen to the other side", or "let the other side be heard as well". It is 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 to be a principle of fundamental justice or equity or the principle of natural justice in most legal systems. This 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
As a general principle of rationality in reaching conclusions in disputed matters, "Hear both sides" was treated as part of common wisdom by the ancient Greek dramatists. A similar principle can also be found in Islamic law, based on a hadith indicating that in litigation, both parties must be heard.
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
- Imam Abu Dawud. 2008. Sunan Abu Dawud Vol. 3 (Translated to English by Ahmad Hasan). Riyadh: Darussalam,, Hadith No. 3575, Grade: Hasan
- Nuclear Tests (Australia c. France), C. I. J., December 20, 1974, p. 265