Political prosecutions are commonplace in authoritarian jurisdictions but they seen more in democracies now too. Their existence is a major problem and represent a crime against democracy.
The most important requirement in all criminal trials is that the onus of establishing guilt is to the standard of beyond reasonable doubt. This standard of proof stays immovably with the prosecution throughout a trial. In Kathleen Folbigg’s case an essential element that needed to be proved beyond reasonable doubt was that she intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to her children.
The prosecution said that she smothered them, but failed to prove this was the case.
The criminal justice system cannot function to allow fair trials unless those deciding whether an offence has been committed understand that they need to apply the highest standard of proof when considering the evidence presented to them.
This article explores issues beyond reasonable doubt to provide insight for those in the legal profession and members of the public.