Criminal Law in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Woolmington v DPP
    • House of Lords
    • 05 Abril 1935

    Throughout the web of the English Criminal Law one golden thread is always to be seen that it is the duty of the prosecution to prove the prisoner's guilt subject to what I have already said as to the defence of insanity and subject also to any statutory exception. No matter what the charge or where the trial, the principle that the prosecution must prove the guilt of the prisoner is part of the common law of England and no attempt to whittle it down can be entertained.

  • R (McCann) v Manchester Crown Court
    • House of Lords
    • 17 Octubre 2002

    However, I agree that, given the seriousness of matters involved, at least some reference to the heightened civil standard would usually be necessary: In re H (Minors)(Sexual Abuse: Standard of Proof) [1996] AC 563, 586D-H, per Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead. But in my view pragmatism dictates that the task of magistrates should be made more straightforward by ruling that they must in all cases under section 1 apply the criminal standard.

  • R v Horseferry Road Magistrates Court ex parte Bennett (A.P.)
    • House of Lords
    • 24 Junio 1993

    If the court is to have the power to interfere with the prosecution in the present circumstances it must be because the judiciary accept a responsibility for the maintenance of the rule of law that embraces a willingness to oversee executive action and to refuse to countenance behaviour that threatens either basic human rights or the rule of law. If the court is to have the power to interfere with the prosecution in the present circumstances it must be because the judiciary accept a responsibility for the maintenance of the rule of law that embraces a willingness to oversee executive action and to refuse to countenance behaviour that threatens either basic human rights or the rule of law.

  • Sweet v Parsley
    • House of Lords
    • 23 Enero 1969

    In the first place a stigma still attaches to any person convicted of a truly criminal offence, and the more serious or more disgraceful the offence the greater the stimga. So he would have to consider whether, in a case of this gravity, the public interest really requires that an innocent person should be prevented from proving his innocence in order that fewer guilty men may escape.

  • R v Powell (Anthony Glassford); R v English (Philip); R v Daniels (Antonio Eval)
    • House of Lords
    • 30 Octubre 1997

    It is just that a secondary party who foresees that the primary offender might kill with the intent sufficient for murder, and assists and encourages the primary offender in the criminal enterprise on this basis, should be guilty of murder. Experience has shown that joint criminal enterprises only too readily escalate into the commission of greater offences. In order to deal with this important social problem the accessory principle is needed and cannot be abolished or relaxed.

  • Maxwell v DPP
    • House of Lords
    • 01 Junio 1934

    This would have offended against one of the most deeply rooted and jealously guarded principles of our criminal law, which, as stated in Makin v. Attorney-General for New South Wales [ 1894 A.C. 57] is that "it is undoubtedly not competent for "the prosecution to adduce evidence tending to show that the accused has been guilty of criminal acts other than those covered by the indictment for the purpose of leading to the conclusion that the accused is a person likely from his conduct or character to have committed the offence for which he is being tried."

  • Brown v Stott (Procurator Fiscal, Dunfermline)
    • Privy Council
    • 05 Diciembre 2000

    "Presumptions of fact or of law operate in every legal system. It does, however, require the Contracting States to remain within certain limits in this respect as regards criminal law … Article 6(2) does not therefore regard presumptions of fact or of law provided for in the criminal law with indifference. It requires States to confine them within reasonable limits which take into account the importance of what is at stake and maintain the rights of the defence.

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