Presumption Of Innocence: Meaning And Principle

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Presumption Of Innocence: Meaning And Principle
Presumption Of Innocence: Meaning And Principle

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Video: CRIMINAL LAW WHY DO WE HAVE THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE AUDIO 2023, January
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The judicial system of the Russian Federation is based on the presumption of innocence - the right of a person to be considered innocent until proven otherwise. But not all defendants know how to exercise this right.

presumption of innocence
presumption of innocence

The basic principle of the presumption of innocence was formulated back in the III century AD, by one of the Roman jurists, and sounded like this: "The one who asserts, and not the one who denies, is obliged to prove." That is, the accused cannot be considered a criminal until the prosecution presents evidence of this, and the judge delivers a guilty verdict. The presumption of innocence gives the right to consider the case in a certain order and only in court, it excludes lynching, is the basis for compliance with the law - collection of evidence and confirmation of guilt by facts.

The essence of the concept of the presumption of innocence

The essence of this concept lies in the fact that any citizen who is accused of violating order or a crime is not obliged to prove his innocence and innocence. This is what the human rights defender (lawyer) will point out first of all, and this is how the concept is interpreted in the most widespread Internet reference "Wikipedia" and legislation.

On the basis of the presumption of innocence, the stages of inquiry and investigation are determined, and the person who allegedly committed this or that act is called:

  • suspects - at the stage when verification actions are being carried out,
  • accused - when the investigating authorities substantiate their arguments with evidence of guilt,
  • a criminal - on the basis of a final court decision (sentence).

The essence of the presumption of innocence lies in the fact that if there are nuances in the case, doubts, mitigating circumstances that can be interpreted in favor of the suspect or accused citizen, they are interpreted in his favor, but not otherwise. Circumstances can be clarified and presented to the investigation or the court at any stage, even after the verdict has been passed and announced.

The same concept defines the right to voluntarily testify, the ability not to testify against oneself, protects against physical and moral violence during interrogations.

Exercise of the right to be presumed innocent

The implementation of this principle by the judicial and investigative systems is to exclude the conviction and punishment of innocent citizens. The presumption of innocence is needed so that every citizen can exercise the right to defense, moreover, from the illegal actions of representatives of the investigating authorities. The relevant chapters of the legislation of our country and the world level clearly describe the provisions of the presumption of innocence:

  • an innocent person cannot be prosecuted,
  • the accused can only be called the one in respect of whom sufficient evidence has been provided,
  • in a criminal case, both exculpatory and incriminating circumstances must be provided and taken into account,
  • the defendant has the right to remain silent, not to slander himself and not to justify,
  • any testimony must be given voluntarily, without moral and physical impact,
  • the confession of guilt by the accused is not the basis for sentencing, as it must be supported by strong evidence.

Even after the court has pronounced a conviction, a citizen has the right to appeal against it, providing new facts in the case, or appealing with those that were not taken into account in the court of first instance - this possibility is also included in the implementation of the presumption of innocence. Investigators and judges shall not have the right to dismiss the right to exercise the presumption of innocence.

The value of the presumption of innocence for the suspect and the accused

The presumption of innocence is a guarantee of the observance of the rights of the suspect, the accused, and even the citizen who has been recognized as a criminal by the court.The investigative and judicial systems are not perfect, and at any stage a mistake can be made, as a result of which an innocent person will be convicted.

Every citizen should know the concept and meaning of the presumption of innocence. Lack of basic knowledge can lead to the fact that he will be charged with any illegal act. If representatives of the police or investigating authorities detain and accuse of a crime, even the smallest, they have no right

  • place a suspect under arrest without a warrant,
  • conduct a personal search without involving uninterested persons (attesting witnesses),
  • to influence physically or mentally (beat and intimidate),
  • imprisonment in the presence of identity documents,
  • restrict the detainee's ability to contact relatives or a lawyer,
  • deprive of the right to collect evidence of innocence,
  • obstruct the activities of the defense lawyer of the accused,
  • hide exculpatory facts and create accusations artificially.

If at least one of the above violations was committed against a citizen, then during the trial, the judge must interpret this fact in favor of the accused, and the case must be sent for further investigation. In respect of persons who have committed a violation of the presumption of innocence, an official investigation is required to determine their suitability for the position held and professional suitability.

Legislative basis for the presumption of innocence

The presumption of innocence is described both in the Constitution and in the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, since it must be taken into account and used when considering any violations of the law, including administrative ones.

In the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, the presumption of innocence is regulated by article 14. According to the article, responsibility for proving the defendant's guilt and refuting exculpatory facts lies with the prosecution - the prosecutor. The court has no right to bring either exculpatory or accusatory facts, it can only analyze and interpret them in accordance with the law.

In the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the presumption of innocence is regulated by Article 49. By its content, it is the most complete and clear formulation of a citizen's right to protection from unsubstantiated accusations and unlawful decisions of a judicial authority. It can be used in the consideration of criminal and administrative cases, as a constitutional principle of legal proceedings.

The presumption of innocence is the ability to exercise the right of the individual when considering violations in any area, including labor, social, electoral, housing and personal rights. Until an appropriate base of evidence of guilt has been collected, no one can call the defendant a criminal in court. Neglect of articles 14 or 49 is also punishable by law.

How to understand that the right to the presumption of innocence has been violated

Unfortunately, there are enough examples of violation of the presumption of innocence at all stages of the proceedings. The accused is obliged to closely monitor the progress of the inquiry and the proceedings of the case in court, even if he has committed an offense or crime. Failure to comply with his constitutional right may lead to the imposition of a longer sentence.

Immediately after the arrest, the citizen must be explained why he is suspected of committing one or another act, the facts that led to such conclusions are announced. In addition, they are obliged to officially bring charges against him, and provide an opportunity to contact a lawyer or relatives.

In the course of the pre-trial proceedings, in no case should pressure be exerted on the suspect, or on the witnesses, or on those who are collecting exculpatory facts and protecting the citizen. The investigator is obliged to take into account and record in the case evidence that justifies the suspect.The case is brought to court only after all evidence of guilt or innocence has been collected.

The article on the presumption of innocence makes it clear that the judge and the prosecutor cannot assume. Such conduct of legal proceedings is a violation of the presumption of innocence, and on the basis of this the sentence can be overturned by a higher authority.

Even the negative attitude of the representative of the investigating authority towards the suspect can be considered a violation of the presumption of innocence. Unreasonable confidence in guilt is moral pressure on the person under investigation or witnesses in the case. This circumstance can be used by a lawyer at a hearing in court to protect his client, and be interpreted by a judge in favor of the accused.

Ignorance of the law not only does not exempt from responsibility for the acts committed, but can also lead to illegal arrest and conviction. Every citizen should be aware of the presumption of innocence. The right not to be presumed guilty helps to avoid being accused of something that a person has not done.

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