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The Use of Lurking Doubt Test - Research Paper Example

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The paper "The Use of Lurking Doubt Test" highlights that consigning the test to history would override the experience of the trial and appeal judges and vest authority only on the jury in the case. This could lead to serious miscarriage of justice as indicated by the various appeals…
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The Use of Lurking Doubt Test
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Download file to see previous pages Some events indicate that the court has more power and can take into consideration some actions of the Court of Criminal Appeals. One of the residual actions that the Court of Criminal Appeals is the ability to reverse a conviction based on lurking doubt. This residual power is explained in R. v B. (2003),2 where it is stated that;
“... there remains in this court a residual discretion to set aside a conviction if we feel that it is unsafe or unfair to allow it to stand. This is so even when the trial process itself cannot be faulted”.3
An analysis of the statement of the court indicated above reveals that the court is saying that, even if the law dictates the court’s jurisdiction, the court can still access residual parts of its jurisdiction dictated by the statute. The issue of lurking doubt was first brought to light by Lord Widgery in Regina v Cooper (1969),4 wherein the interest of criminal practice, stated that the court has, within, its powers, the right to interfere with a jury’s working even if the trial has been impeccably conducted. In Regina v Cooper (1969),5 it is evident that every issue in the trial had been placed to the jury, and the court was not willing to interfere in the verdict. Lord Widgery stated that any court must realize the advantage that the jury possesses in hearing, seeing and analyzing the witnesses and material presented to them, so the court should take serious consideration before interfering in the verdict. However, until the Criminal Appeals Act (CAA) 19666 was passed, it was uncommon to find a court interfering in a jury verdict.
But after the passing of CAA 1966, the court is now vested with the power of allowing an appeal against a conviction if the court feels that the jury’s verdict should be discarded on the basis that the case is unsafe or not acceptable or does not satisfy all conditions. Lord Widgery (1969) stated that a court must leave the objective part of a case and take a subjective measure to the case analysis.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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