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What Does the Prosecution Need to Prove in the Courtroom for a Person to Be Convicted of a Criminal offence?

Autor:   •  July 15, 2018  •  Term Paper  •  1,506 Words (7 Pages)  •  172 Views

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  1. What does the prosecution need to prove in the courtroom for a person to be convicted of a criminal offence?

In the courtroom the prosecution represents the crown and is responsible for prosecuting a case on behalf of the community. To be charged with an offence is a life course changing event and as such a high standard of evidence or proof is required. This is called the burden of proof and is placed on the prosecution to prove that all the elements of the offence charged happened to a standard or beyond a reasonable doubt. ("Steps in Prosecution | Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions", 2018) The defendant has the presumption of innocence and if they are able to prove a reasonable doubt to any of the elements of the offence that person will not be convicted.

  1. What are the differences between summary and indictable offences?

Summary offences are less serious offences; a few examples are petty theft, public nuisance or minor drug offences and they are usually heard in the Magistrates Court. A summary offence is described in law as ‘an offence that is not indictable’ ("The Queensland Law Handbook", 2018)and with such a vague description summary offences can be anything, but tend to be less serious crimes that have less serious consequences such as fines, diverted or small jail sentences or good behaviour bonds.

Indictable offences are the more serious offences such as murder or serious drug offences. A person is charged and prosecuted by the way of an indictment; an indictment describes the particulars of a charge and, as these are the more serious offences, will be heard before a judge or judge and jury and come with harsh penalties and custodial sentences if the elements of the offence are proven to be true. ("The Queensland Law Handbook", 2018)

There has also been a push to have indictable offences that are minor and able to be dealt with at a lower level to be dealt with summarily, this is due to time constraints within the higher courts and costs associated with it. ("The Queensland Law Handbook", 2018)

  1. What is a legal ‘defence’? Describe two common defences in criminal law.

Any argument made by the defendant that shows the prosecution has not proven the elements of the offence is referred to as a defence. Within criminal law there are more specified or legal types of defence where it can be argued elements of the crime occurred however, the person charged is not held criminally responsible or the degree of criminal responsibility is lessened. When using a proactive defence the burden of proof is reversed and the onus is on the defendant to prove the elements of their defence


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