CRIM 330 Study Guide - Comprehensive Final Exam Guide - Common Law, Canada, Summary Offence

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CRIM 330
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CRIM 330 - Lecture 1 - Introduction
Legal Guilt vs. Factual Guilt
Criminal justice system fundamentally concerned w/ legal guilt as opposed to factual
guilt
Legal guilt - proof of actus reus & mens rea w/ admissible evidence
Factual guilt - proof of actus reus & mens rea w/ no concerns re:admissibility of
evidence
If concern was only w/ factual guilt, would get evidence in any way possible
Legal guilt concerned w/ balancing number of important values
Pursuit of truth
Every trial is exercise in pursuit of truth
Ensuring fair trial
Deterring police misconduct
Preserving overall integrity of JS
Factual guilt concerned w /only one value - pursuit of truth
However we get there, anything goes
In most cases legal & factual guilt coincide
Whether we manage to get truth of matter
If we did it through system of anything goes, we would get the truth
However, in some cases they won’t coincide
An accused may be factually guilty but not legally guilty, so there is no conviction
& punishment
Legal guilt want to make sure people conduct procedures lawfully
Legal guilt - constant balancing act
Our criminal justice system isn’t just about pursuit of truth, it is concerned w/ qualified
search for truth
Sometimes end does not justify the means
Seeking truth in every criminal trial but not at any cost
Sources of Law of Criminal Procedure & Evidence: Codified vs. Common Law
Law comes from one of 2 sources
Legislatures (statutes/legislation)
Judges (case law/common law)
Law of criminal procedure largely found in codified form in CCC
Law of evidence for criminal cases found mainly in common law
Although there are some important relevant statutes such as Canada Evidence
Act
Most of law found in common law
Role of Prosecutors (Crown Counsel)
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In principle their role is objective
Duty to see that justice is done - not to simply get convictions
This is professional responsibility - in BC it is set out in section 18 of Professional
Conduct Handbook
When engaged as a prosecutor the lawyer’s prime duty is not to seek a
conviction, but to see that justice is done. The prosecutor exercises a public
function involving much discretion and power, and must act fairly and
dispassionately. The prosecutor should not do anything that might prevent the
accused from being represented by counsel or communicating with counsel and,
to the extent required by law and accepted practice, should make timely
disclosure to defence counsel or to an unrepresented accused of all relevant
facts and known witnesses, whether tending to show guilt or innocence, or that
would affect the punishment of the accused.
Generally lawyers are used to do prosecution work
In practice, lawyers always used by gov to do criminal prosecutions
Sometimes non-lawyers used to do non-lawyer prosecutions
E.g. quasi-criminal, when parking ticket issued & someone wishes to
argue about it
However, non-lawyers are sometimes used to prosecute summary conviction
criminal offences & quasi-criminal offences
There are 3 basic models governments use for prosecutors
Full-time employees
Most common
Contract prosecutors
Do not hire people as regular employees, hire them on contract basis,
meaning they work for gov as contractors for term of contract
Not long term
Typically, govs use them in areas where they cannot justify having full
time prosecutor’s office
Ad hoc prosecutors
Are subcategory of contract prosecutors
Contract even more specific than contract prosecutors
Typically hired just to prosecute one case in special circumstances
Usually used when prosecutors needed close by
Also referred to special prosecutors
Proper role of Crown Counsel
See that justice is done
If means they need conviction, will attempt to do that by any means
necessary
If not enough evidence to get conviction, then going after person may be injustice
When someone is in role of public power like crown prosecutor, it is not their personal
power
It is power entrusted to them - public trust
When have public power, responsibility comes along
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