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POL Jan7.doc

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Western University
Philosophy 2080
Jeannie Gillmore

-Criminal law is public law. The state must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. -The victim in the case is the principle witness. The crown decides the charge and whether to prosecute. -You are not a compellable witness in your own criminal prosecution. Doctrine of Strict Construction- a rule of statutory interpretation: when interpreting the criminal code, interpret very narrowly and literally (put crown to its onus), and if there is any ambiguity in matching activity with the written offense, it must be absolved in favour of the accused person. Helps the accused person -Federal government has the exclusive ability to change/write the criminal code -Criminal act must be in the code. This is to make it even harder for the crown to prove the accused guilty. The list is exhaustive and complete. Protects the accused person. Australia case -Guy tells his lawyer that he killed the constable, and why he did it. What you tell a lawyer is protected; they can not tell anyone what you said without your express permission -He could never have a fair trial again in Australia, so he was just set free! We care about process and the system’s fairness. Punish and deter- specific or general. You want to prevent that person from doing it again. You want to specifically deter the criminal from doing it again, and generally deter the public at large from doing it. Actus reus- the physical act of omission that is a criminal offense Mens rea- the guilty mind, to intend its consequences Charges must be subjective. You can claim stupidity and be considered not guilty. You do not have to know that what you are doing is a
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