The presumption of innocence

Coleman, Michelle (2018) The presumption of innocence. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

Despite its inclusion in most, if not all, criminal justice systems, there is no general consensus as to what constitutes the presumption of innocence. This study answers the question: What is the presumption of innocence? The study contributes to knowledge by providing a comprehensive definition of the presumption of innocence from both a theoretical and practical perspective.
The substantive chapters are thematic. Chapter two examines how the presumption of innocence fits within the existing legal framework. Chapters three and four discuss the two aspects of the presumption of innocence. The procedural aspect is a legal presumption that is applicable at trial, while the non-procedural aspect extends the presumption of innocence outside of trial to protect non-convicted individuals from being treated as if they have been convicted. Chapter five argues that everyone can benefit from the presumption of innocence, but the right only attaches once someone is ‘charged’. Chapter six examines the duty to uphold the presumption of innocence concluding that the strongest duty falls to the fact-finder but the majority of the burden falls to public authorities. Finally, the seventh chapter attempts to reconcile the presumption of innocence with pre-determination detention.
The thesis concludes that the presumption of innocence is a human right with two aspects. These aspects keep innocent people from being treated as if they have been convicted of a crime. While the procedural aspect is operative at trial, the nonprocedural aspect extends the presumption of innocence beyond trial. The outcome of the particular criminal case determines when the right to the presumption of innocence ends. Finally, the presumption of innocence may be reconciled with predetermination detention only if the reason justifying the detention is not based within the criminal process.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
B. > Theses
Item ID: 25861
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Vimal Shah
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2018 14:36
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2019 04:53
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/25861

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