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Time to Abandon ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ and ‘Sure’: The Case for a New Direction on the Criminal Standard and Why and How it should be Used

Keane, A. and McKeown, P. (2019). Time to Abandon ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ and ‘Sure’: The Case for a New Direction on the Criminal Standard and Why and How it should be Used. Criminal Law Review, 2019(6), pp. 505-527.

Abstract

This article considers, through the prism of the fundamental principles underlying the purpose of the criminal trial and international jurisprudence and scholarship, the appropriate standard of proof to be met by the prosecution before a jury can properly convict. In order for jurors properly to employ that standard to reach their verdict – the ultimate and critical stage of the trial - they need the clearest possible understanding of both the meaning of the standard and how it should be applied. This article, therefore, considers not only the appropriate standard but also the related issues of how that standard is best described to the jury and how they should be directed on why and how it should be used. Our conclusion is that there is a pressing need to abandon the concepts of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ and ‘sure’ and to introduce a new model direction that (i) defines accurately the criminal standard of proof and (ii) makes clear to the jury precisely how they should make use of the standard in carrying out the fact-finding function on which their verdict should be based.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Criminal Law Review following peer review. The definitive published version, McKeown, P. and Keane, A. (2019). Time to Abandon ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ and ‘Sure’: The Case for a New Direction on the Criminal Standard and Why and How it should be Used. Criminal Law Review, 2019(6), pp. 505-527. is available online on Westlaw UK.
Subjects: K Law
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2021 11:16
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/26264
[img] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible due to copyright restrictions.

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