The burden of proof is an obligation on one party to persuade the jury or a judge of an alleged claim. The defendant need not prove his own innocence; it is for the prosecution to prove that the defendant is guilty and the standard of proof here is beyond reasonable doubt. Failure to discharge such legal burden would result in the defendant being acquitted. This principle is especially important in criminal cases because a person’s liberty is at stake. In doing so, it will help to promote fair trial and somewhat uphold human rights.
This is so to ensure the protection of the rights of a particular individual on trial. In addition, the above constitutional provision, as a presumption, was well explained in the case of Woolmington v The Director of Public Prosecutions . In this case Viscount Sankey L.C. stated thus: “Throughout the web of the English Criminal Law one golden thread is always to be seen, that it is the duty of the prosecution to prove the prisoner’s guilt subject to what I have already said as to the defence of insanity and subject also to any statutory exception …” The above excerpt shows that the presumption of innocence places the burden of proof in criminal cases on the prosecution, who are to prove the guilt of the accused beyond all reasonable doubt. In fact, Viscount Sankey L.C.
Trial courts are exhorted to keep in mind that a plea of guilty for a lighter offense than that actually charged is not supposed to be allowed as a matter of bargaining or compromise for the convenience of the accused. The rule allows a plea of guilty to a lesser offense, not only at arraignment but also after arraignment and after his prior plea is withdrawn, but said rule also provides that the same be made before trial. When there is a plea of guilty to a lesser offense and the same was allowed by the court, there is no need to amend the information or
If, at the end of the case, there is a reasonable doubt, created by the evidence given by either the prosecution or the defence... the prosecution has not made out the case and the accused is entitled to an acquittal. No matter what the charge is , the principle that the prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused is part of the common law of England and no attempt to whittle it down can be entertained .#
1. INTRODUCTION It is the most common perception of people to prosecute and punish those who commit war crimes or atrocities against humanity, nonetheless they should be given a fair trial. A fair trial, free from judicial bias and political pressures is a legal right. The fairness is not only the prerogative of the victims but also the accused for it is an important component of the mandate to the International Court of Justice. To interpret fairness one requires a more holistic concept not just limiting to judicial proceeding but one that effectively helps parties realise their rights under the Rome Statute.
If, at the end of and on the whole of the case, there is a reasonable doubt, created by the evidence given by either the prosecution or the prisoner... the prosecution has not made out the case and the prisoner is entitled to an acquittal. No matter what the charge or where the trial, the principle that the prosecution must prove the guilt of the prisoner is part of the common law of England and no attempt to whittle it down can be entertained .#
Parties should always obtain legal representation to help prepare and present their cases in the most effective manner, and to ensure that their case abides by the rules of evidence and procedure. You can choose not to have legal representation, but you will most likely be at a big disadvantage compared to a party that does. Having experienced legal representation can also give the party an advantage to help question witnesses and obtain verbal evidence, therefore, helping find the truth. For trials held in higher courts, parties typically get two people to help with legal representation. They have a barrister who helps with presenting the case, and a legal practitioner who helps with preparing the case.
My final recommendation is that, if both the accused person and the prosecutor agree to the accused person being tried by a Judge alone, the court must make the order unless the court is satisfied that the order is not in the interests of justice which can be seen under section 118 of Western Australia’s the Criminal Procedures Act 2004. In conclusion, I believe the amendment to the jury system provides an incredibly effective delivery of justice while still maintaining the accused’s right of presumption of innocence and right to a trial by jury referred to by Justice
Premier Barry O 'Farrell stated that "This is about ensuring that there 's the strongest possible message". Although this is arguably a little extreme, the case about making a point stands. Through this message, society now has the potential to grasp how certain matters are treated by the law. One of the issues with mandatory sentencing is that there is no flexibility for any future cases. Mr Cowdery, a retired DPP officer said, "judges needed discretion in sentencing to ensure the punishment fitted with the circumstances of the crime and the criminal themselves".
The accused is entitled to be accorded with a fair trial in accordance with the principles of natural justice. A legal maxim “the accused person is presumed to be innocent unless proven otherwise”. It is through proper trials that criminal justice can be upheld and to achieve this, it is essential that there should be a proper understanding on the procedures in summary trials. The fundamental principle underlying the criminal justice system in Malaysia is that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty. Consonant with this principle, the criminal justice system of Malaysia provides various safeguards to protect accused persons.