Fundamental Principles of Canadian Criminal Law

In every criminal trial the accused is presumed innocent and remains innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Every alleged crime can be defined by its specific elements. Each essential element of a crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Except in rare instances, it is generally the prosecutor’s obligation to prove each essential element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. Failure to do so will result in an acquittal. The formal finding of an acquittal is a verdict of “not guilty.”

In every case the prosecutor must prove at least three things:
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Introduction to Canadian Criminal Procedure

You have to learn the rules of the game.
And then you have to play better than anyone else.
– Albert Einstein

To be successful as a trial lawyer, two things are of paramount importance:

1. having a clear understanding of the complicated, constantly-evolving legal procedures, as dictated by legislators and court precedence; and

2. developing an effective strategy within those rules.

This book is all about number one, learning the rules of the game, including all possible exceptions. As for number two, see my book “Criminal Trial Strategies” to learn the art of advocacy, the art of telling the client’s story.
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