Enrii
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it is ever acceptable to place the burden of proof on the defendant in a criminal trial?

is there any reason behind your answer?
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gonzalez607
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(Original post by Enrii)
it is ever acceptable to place the burden of proof on the defendant in a criminal trial?

is there any reason behind your answer?
I don't think it's the defendants role to provide the burden of proof. It's said that an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, so the prosecutor is the one to prove the mens rea and the actus reus.

If you look at Woolmington 1953 it states that the prosecution must prove the case. I don't see how the defendant could have the burden of proof placed upon them.
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MidgetFever
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There are a few situations in which the burden of proof is reversed - Insanity for example, the accused has to prove that they were legally insane at the time of acting, a similar reversal takes place in cases of diminished responsibility.

I suggest looking into the procedures and rationales surrounding these defences to perhaps build a counter-argument.
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username3689312
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(Original post by gonzalez607)
I don't think it's the defendants role to provide the burden of proof. It's said that an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, so the prosecutor is the one to prove the mens rea and the actus reus.

If you look at Woolmington 1953 it states that the prosecution must prove the case. I don't see how the defendant could have the burden of proof placed upon them.
As stated above there are situations the burden is reversed so yes the defendants do in some situations have the burden of proof placed upon them. Its never the overarching burden of proof but a fact in issue to prove.
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Lord Vitiate
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I think it is definitely fair to say that there are instances in which the burden of proof is placed upon the defendant - namely insanity where, as MidgetFever, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant to prove that they were insane at the time of committing the offence. However, the question is not "are there instances where the the burden of proof shifts to the defendant?" - the question is exclusively "is it ever acceptable" for this to be the case.

My position is rather nuanced. Generally, no, I do not think it is acceptable for the defendant to be put under a burden to prove their own innocence. This is for a number of reasons, first, it would contradict the general principle of the presumption of innocence. Our entire criminal justice system relies on the principle that a defendant is presumed to be innocent until they are proven to be guilty beyond reasonable doubt. It would be unjust violation of that principle if we were to impose the burden of proof upon them. Secondly, the defendant should have an unfettered right to silence (which is unfortunately not the case in the current legal reality) - this would be violated because it would require the defendant to speak in order to prove their own innocence which is a manifest absurdity.

However, there are instances where it can be somewhat acceptable for the defendant to have the burden of proof imposed upon them. This is generally where the Prosecution has proven the defendant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt but the defendant has a defence. Now, again, generally, it should be to the Prosecution to prove that the defendant had not acted in self defence, for example. However, contentious issues like the applicability of the defence of insanity, I can see a very small window of acceptability for the burden to be placed upon the defendant.

I hope this helps.

Enrii
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MidgetFever
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(Original post by Lord Vitiate)
I think it is definitely fair to say that there are instances in which the burden of proof is placed upon the defendant - namely insanity where, as MidgetFever, the burden of proof shifts to the defendant to prove that they were insane at the time of committing the offence. However, the question is not "are there instances where the the burden of proof shifts to the defendant?" - the question is exclusively "is it ever acceptable" for this to be the case.
Which is why I suggested looking into the rationales and procedures of said reversal.

Plenty of academic literature around on it.
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