What the verdict teaches us is that in cases that are entirely dependent on uncorroborated witness testimony, devoid of any physical evidence, credibility is the paramount issue judges must grapple with when determining guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Harpreet S. Nirwan
Lawyer, blogger, law enthusiast.
Harpreet S. Nirwan is a barrister with a background in civil litigation, criminal defence and personal injury law. Harp has appeared at all levels of Court in British Columbia.Harp has conducted numerous trials in the Provincial and Supreme Courts of British Columbia, and has appeared in Supreme Court chambers on countless occasions to argue interlocutory and summary trial applications. Further, Harp has appeared before the British Columbia Court of Appeal and a myriad of provincial administrative tribunals. Harp completed his undergraduate degree in Criminology from Simon Fraser University and his law degree from the University of Victoria.
The criminal trial is concerned with determining whether a trier of fact (either a judge or jury) can be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt of an accused's guilt as charged. The beyond a reasonable doubt standard is intended to avoid wrongful convictions and is related to the fundamental tenet of the criminal justice system: the presumption of innocence. The defence is required to do nothing. It is not required to call any evidence whatsoever. The burden remains on the Crown to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, a prudent defence lawyer would do all that was within his/her power raise a reasonable doubt.
02/02/2016 05:09 EST
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