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Restore the Presumption of Innocence – the Right to a Fair Trial

Comment 5th July 2010

Dear Sir,

 

I invite you to repeal the law permitting juries to be invited to make appropriate inferences as to a defendant's guilt where that defendant has failed to give an account in interview or in evidence at trial.

Why does this matter?

The existing law fundamentally interferes with the the right to a fair trial by its erosion of the presumption of innocence.

 

It is a critical feature of our criminal justice system that it is for the State to justify its inference with an individual's autonomy in prosecuting them, by proving its case.  This justifiable burden that the Crown faces is undermined by a suspect effectively being required to give evidence, if they are not to face a jury direction on adverse inferences.  An individual should not effectively be compelled to participate in the construction of a case against him, and secondly, the State should not receive the significant assistance in a prosecution that a direction on adverse inferences brings.

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