Presentation on theme: "+ Courtroom Participants. + 2 Fundamental Principles An accused person is innocent until proven guilty. Guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."— Presentation transcript:
+ Courtroom Participants
+ 2 Fundamental Principles An accused person is innocent until proven guilty. Guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt a standard of proof whereby a defendant’s guilt must be proven to the extent that a reasonable person would have no choice but to conclude that the defendant did indeed commit the crime. If there is any doubt about the defendant’s guilt, the person must be acquitted. Who are the role players in the court room responsible in maintaining the integrity of the trial system?
+ The Judge Makes decisions on the admissibility of evidence Controls the events in the courtroom Interprets the law pertaining to the case. In a jury trial, known as the “trier of law” (instructs jury on points of law) and the jury as “trier of fact” (decides verdict based on the judge’s instructions and on the evidence/facts) Sentences the convicted person. In a non-trial jury, it is the judge that decides on the guilt or innocence, then passes sentence.
+ Justice of the Peace Has less authority than a judge but can perform judicial functions, especially in the preliminary stages of a hearing. Issue arrest and search warrants Hear bail applications In some jurisdictions can hear cases involving infractions of municipal bylaws and certain provincial statutes.
+ The Defence The person charged with the crime is called the accused, or defendant May represent themselves at trial or hire a judge. Duty counsel provides free legal advice to a person being charged or interrogated at the police station or appearing in Provincial Court for the first time. Defence Counsel is the lawyer who represents the interests of the accused. If the accused pleads not guilty, their counsel will try to show beyond a reasonable doubt of their innocence. If accused pleads guilty or is found guilty, counsel will recommend an appropriate sentence. The Crown also makes a sentencing recommendation. If the defence counsel and the Crown agree, they will make a joint submission to the judge.
+ The Prosecution The Crown Attorney (or Prosecutor) is the lawyer representing the government’s interests in investigating and punishing criminal offences to ensure society’s safety. Prepare for the case by researching the law, taking witness statements, finding evidence and examining exhibits. Their role is to bring forward credible evidence of a crime. Evidence is information that tends to prove or disprove the elements of an offence. Important parts of their evidence are testimony from the arresting officer and witnesses. Physical evidence would include fingerprints, a weapon, or articles of clothing belonging to the victim or the accused.
+ Witnesses Give evidence, under oath, concerning their knowledge of the circumstances surrounding a crime. May be compelled to appear in court by receiving a subpoena – a court order requiring the witness to appear. If they fail to appear, they can be held in contempt of court for obstructing the course of justice (can be fined a max of $100 and/or imprisoned for up to 90 days) Witnesses commit perjury if they knowingly make false statements in court while giving evidence under oath or affirmation. Perjury is an indictable offence with a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment.
+ The Jury A group of 12 men and women, chosen by the Crown and defence counsel from a pool of ordinary citizens. Listen to the trial, examine evidence, and follow the judge’s instructions about the law. At the end of the trial, withdraw to the jury room to deliberate and decide whether the accused is guilty or not guilty. Must find the defendant unanimously guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
+ Other Court Personnel Court Clerk: assists the judge by keeping a record of the trial exhibits and administering oaths, and announcing the beginning or end of court session. Court Reporter: Records verbatim everything that has been said during the trial using an electronic monitoring system. Can produce a transcript after the trial if required. Court Security Officer: Handles accused persons who are in custody and helps maintain security in the courtroom. Sheriff: Usually responsible for jury management; summon, pay, seclude and guard jurors are required. Bailiff: Court official who assists a sheriff.