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silence + "prima facie"

silence + "prima facie"

Postby megaman » Thu May 25, 2017 12:03 pm

In regards to adverse inferences
how much evidence does it take to reach the prema facie threshold?
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Re: silence + "prima facie"

Postby atticus » Thu May 25, 2017 12:13 pm

What prima facie threshold?

Would it help you to understand that prima facie means at first sight, or on first impression?
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Re: silence + "prima facie"

Postby dls » Thu May 25, 2017 12:15 pm

There is no direct link.
'prima facie' arises, usually, on a committal. It has a technical meaning

On other occasions the test is usually where a question is properly raised as an issue. For example in an assault charge, where a defendant raises the issue of self defence, which creates an obligation on the prosecution to disprove it. The 'raise the issue' is not whether he establishes it prima facie.

The question raised by silence is set entirely within the statutory context where that statute allows (undefined) proper inferences drawn from the particular identified silence.
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Re: silence + "prima facie"

Postby megaman » Thu May 25, 2017 8:04 pm

So if for example there was a rape case where the only evidence was the aledged victims accusation would this be enough to enable an adverse inference from the accused silence?

if yes
what kind of retard thought it would be a good idea to enact such a law?
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Re: silence + "prima facie"

Postby dls » Thu May 25, 2017 8:44 pm

It is _not_ an adverse inference, it is a 'proper' inference. That a proper inference may be adverse merely demonstrates the circularity. It is a law I do not like. Blame Lord Howard.

It is not a law which says that an adverse inference alone is sufficient. The example you state has another very much more significant element - the evidence of the victim/complainant. There is usually additional circumstantial supporting evidence. A rape complainant's evidence which is cogent is strong evidence. There used to be a rule requiring additional evidence, but that I think has gone.
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Re: silence + "prima facie"

Postby atticus » Thu May 25, 2017 11:46 pm

Isn't the point that an adverse inference may be drawn if the accused does not say something which he later relies on in court?
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Re: silence + "prima facie"

Postby dls » Fri May 26, 2017 7:12 am

In this case sadly, that can be as little as 'I didn't do it'
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Re: silence + "prima facie"

Postby atticus » Fri May 26, 2017 8:11 am

Yes - but my point was that there is a second part: later relying on something in court. That element does not appear in meg's example.
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Re: silence + "prima facie"

Postby megaman » Fri May 26, 2017 9:51 am

atticus wrote:Isn't the point that an adverse inference may be drawn if the accused does not say something which he later relies on in court?


This only refers to silence on or before charge
silence at trial allows for much broader inferences
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Re: silence + "prima facie"

Postby megaman » Fri May 26, 2017 9:54 am

dls wrote:In this case sadly, that can be as little as 'I didn't do it'


Be this in regards to the rape accusation example.

Comments made by the defendant which are solely for the benefit of the defendant are not admissible so "i didnt do it" before trial would only be valid if asked a question to which that would be an appropriate answer (ie did you do it)
such a question is likely to be leading and therefore not admissible.

In court a defendant ether subjects himself to being asked all questions which both sides want to ask or none, so he would have no chance to say "i didnt do it" in isolation.

In any case why is it unfortunate?
surely the victims testimony alone should never every be enough amount to sufficient evidence.
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