Equality before the courts includes equality in arms and equal access to the courts.
- The obligation to fulfil requires States parties to take steps to ensure that in practice, men and women enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights on a basis of equality. Such steps should include: ...To establish appropriate venues for redress such as courts and tribunals or administrative mechanisms that are accessible to all on the basis of equality, including the poorest and most disadvantaged and marginalized men and women.
- The right to equality before courts and tribunals also ensures equality of arms. The principle of equality between parties applies also to civil proceedings, and demands, inter alia, that each side be given the opportunity to contest all the arguments and evidence adduced by the other party.
- Equality before courts and tribunals also requires that similar cases are dealt with in similar proceedings. If, for example, exceptional criminal procedures or specially constituted courts or tribunals apply in the determination of certain categories of cases… objective and reasonable grounds must be provided to justify the distinction.
- The right to equality before courts and tribunals, in general terms, guarantees, in addition to the principles mentioned in the second sentence of Article 14, paragraph 1, those of equal access and equality of arms, and ensures that the parties to the proceedings in question are treated without any discrimination.
- A situation in which an individual's attempts to access the competent courts or tribunals are systematically frustrated de jure or de facto runs counter to the guarantee of article 14, paragraph 1, first sentence…The guarantee is violated if certain persons are barred from bringing suit against any other persons such as by reason of their race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
- There should be equality of arms between the parties to the proceedings.
- The essential elements of a fair hearing include: a) equality of arms between the parties to a proceedings, whether they be administrative, civil, criminal or military.
- The essential elements of a fair hearing include: c) equality of access by women and men to judicial bodies and equality before the law in any legal proceedings.
- The right to a fair hearing incorporates the principle of equality of arms. This means that everyone who is a party to proceedings must have a reasonable opportunity of presenting his case to the court under conditions which do not place him/her at a substantial disadvantage vis-à-vis his/her opponent.
- The principle of equality between the parties should apply at all times.