Woolmington V Dbmi Case Study

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History and Development It is worth to know that the concept of presumption of innocence was first articulated in the Roman law: Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat – “the burden of proof lies on the one who affirms, not on the one who denies” by one of the most excerpted Roman jurists, Julius Paulus Prudentissimus. Then after the fall of the Western Modern Empire, feudalistic law and justice system was formed. In that time, it was the duty of the accused to prove his innocence rather than using the idea of “innocent until proven guilty”. Back in the United Kingdom, the case of Woolmington v DPP laid down the general rule of presumption of innocence. Reginald Woolmington was charged with murder of his wife, Violet. The defendant claimed that he did not intend to kill her but he was threatening to kill himself with a gun if she refused to go home with him. The gun accidentally went off and shot Violet in the heart. Woolmington argued that the trial judge, Swift J, misdirected the jury using the…show more content…
The legal burden will be shifted to the accused when the statute expressly obliges the accused to prove his defence on the balance of probabilities. Example of the express statutory reversal can be seen in Section 28(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 where it is stated that it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that he neither knew of nor suspected nor had reason to suspect the existence of controlled drugs in his possession.
The case of R v Carr Briant stated that when the accused bears a legal burden, the standard of proof has to be on a balance of probabilities. Humphreys J in that case said, ‘In our judgment where, either by statute or at common law, some matter is presumed against the accused person “unless the contrary proved”, the jury should be directed that it is for them to decide whether the contrary is proved…’ iii) Implied Statutory

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