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The three stages of a trial and the presentation of evidence - Essay Example

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This research aims to present the background against which the three-stage trial process is set. It is this background that necessitates the presentation of evidence in a way that it is tested and thus assists the tribunal of fact as far as humanly and reasonably possible to arrive at an honest conclusion…
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The three stages of a trial and the presentation of evidence
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Download file to see previous pages Before analyzing the three-stage process of the criminal trial it is necessary to present the background against which the three-stage trial process is set. It is this background that necessitates the presentation of evidence in a way that it is tested and thus assists the tribunal of fact as far as humanly and reasonably possible to arrive at an honest conclusion. The background foundations for the criminal trial also ensures that the defendant’s right to a fair trial is protected and that he or she has an opportunity to counter the evidence presented against him or her. The foundation for the three-stage trial process in the presentation of evidence is grounded in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The right to a fair trial as enunciated in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides the defendant with an inalienable right to confront the witnesses against him at the trial. This is also known as the right to not only confront one’s accusers but the right for one’s accusers to confront the accused person.6 In this regard, at the stage of the trial where the prosecution presents its case, evidence is presented substantiating the allegations against the accused through the direct examination of witnesses for the prosecution.7 At the close of the prosecution’s case, the defendant who has the inalienable right to remain silent may make a submission of no case to answer.8 The right to remain silent is not specifically mentioned in the European Convention on Human rights but has been interpreted by the courts to be a necessary part of the right to a fair trial as provided for in Article 6 of the Convention. In fact it was held in Murray v UK that: the right to remain silent under police questioning and the privilege against...
From the research it can be comprehended that the trial itself is concerned with the presentation of evidence relevant to the legal and factual issues before the court. The evidence is either presented or debated throughout the trial pursuant to the laws and rules regulating the presentation and admissibility of evidence. Quite often evidence is relevant but inadmissible and unfortunately, in balancing the scales of justice for both victims and defendants and protecting the accused right to a fair trial, the best evidence may not be presented in the courts. However, it is this balancing exercise that requires that as far as possible, the best evidence is presented and at the end of the day, regardless of the outcome, it is supported by the evidence that was legally and fully presented in the course of the trial. If both sides merely traded evidence that was not subject to cross-examination the tribunal of fact would only be getting one side of the story and thus an incomplete version of events. Therefore, examination-in-chief, cross-examination and re-examination facilitate that telling of a complete version so that a tribunal of fact is in possession of the best available and admissible evidence. The strength of the evidence will be tested and scrutinized during cross-examination. The authenticity of the scrutiny and tests during cross-examination will be tested during re-examination. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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