Delay in the Administration of Criminal Justice

Commonwealth Developments and Experience

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Expediting the Hearing of the Evidence

Although an accused may admit his guilt in toto thereby waiving his right to have the case against him proved beyond a reasonable doubt, in many common law jurisdictions he is not allowed to admit certain of the facts alleged by the prosecution, which would obviate the need to introduce evidence to prove those particular facts. In consequence, court time is often wasted on proving facts which the defence or the prosecution do not dispute. As far as the accused is concerned, the rule is based on the principle that once a plea of not guilty is entered, it is incumbent on the prosecution to prove every fact and circumstance constituting the offence(s) charged, there being no mid-point between a plea of guilty which admits the truth of everything charged and a plea of not guilty which puts everything in issue.


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