Presentation on theme: "Participants in a Criminal Trial. Principles Canada’s criminal justice system has two fundamental principles: an accused person is innocent until proven."— Presentation transcript:
Participants in a Criminal Trial
Principles Canada’s criminal justice system has two fundamental principles: an accused person is innocent until proven guilty, and guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. –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 offence. If there is any doubt about the defendant’s guilt, the person must be acquitted.
The Judge Judge: the court official appointed to try cases in a court of law and to sentence convicted persons –Makes decisions about the admissibility of evidence –controls the events in the courtroom –interprets the law pertaining to the case. In a jury trial, the judge instructs the jury on points of law, and the jury decides the verdict based on the judge’s instructions and on the evidence or facts presented, and the judge sentences the convicted person
Justice of the Peace A court official who has less authority than a judge but can issue warrants and perform other judicial functions
The Accused (or defendant) The person charged with a crime is called the accused or defendant Defendants may represent themselves at trial, but since the law is so complex, it is usually advisable for defendants to seek trained legal assistance.
Defence Counsel Duty Counsel: a lawyer on duty in a courtroom or police station to give free legal advice to persons just arrested or brought before the court Defence Counsel: the lawyer who defends an accused person on trial –If the accused pleads not guilty, the defence counsel will try to show that there is reasonable doubt to the defendant’s guilt –If the accused pleads guilty or is found guilty, the defence counsel will recommend an appropriate sentence to the judge
The Prosecution The Crown attorney (or prosecutor) is the lawyer representing the government, reasonable for instituting legal proceedings against the accused Must prepare the government’s case by –Researching the law –Assembling the evidence for trial –Reviewing exhibits –Taking statements from witnesses
Court Clerk Assists the judge by – keeping a record of the trial exhibits –administering oaths –announcing the beginning or end of the court session
Court Reporter Using an electronic monitoring system, the court reporter records verbatim everything that has been said during the trial After the trial, the court reporter can produce a transcript of the trial if one is required
Other Court Personnel Court Security Officer: The court official who maintains security in the courtroom Bailiff: The court official who assists a sheriff Sheriff: The Court official responsible for jury management: that is, the sheriff will summon, pay, seclude, and guard jurors as required
Witnesses Witnesses give evidence, under oath, concerning their knowledge of the circumstances surrounding a crime. Witnesses must take an oath on the Bible or other religious text, or make a solemn affirmation to tell the truth Subpoena: a court order requiring a witness to appear in court on a certain date to give evidence Perjury: knowingly making false statements in court while giving evidence under oath or affirmation
The Jury In a criminal trial, a jury is a group of 12 men and women, chosen by the Crown and defence counsel who decide whether the accused is guilty or not guilty Duties: –Listen to trial –Examine evidence –Follow the judge’s instructions about the law –At end of trial, withdraw from courtroom to deliberate –Come to a unanimous decision –Decision must be based on “reasonable doubt” –Deliver a verdict of guilty or not guilty