Accepting Guilty Pleas

landscapeFundamental Rule

It is important to remember that the basis of our legal system is called ‘the rule of law’ which simply stated is the assumption that everyone is presumed ‘not guilty’, until proven guilty in accordance with the basics of fundamental justice.

Accepting Guilty Pleas

The Court can only find a person guilty if the facts of the offense as set out in the statute are found out. This is why sometimes, even though a person wants to plead guilty of an offense, the Court refuses to do so as all the facts of the offence are not made out..

Section 606 of the Criminal Code

There are ‘essential elements’ of every offence. To assure a conviction, the Crown must prove ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ every element of the offence a person is accused of having committed.

Absent a guilty plea, failure of the Crown to prove all the elements of an offence must result in a finding of ‘not guilty.” Again, this is a fundamental principle of our legal system.