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3.2.1 - Charge: Overview of Final Directions

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Members of the jury, before you leave the court to consider your verdict, I must give you instructions on the law and the evidence. There are three parts to these instructions.

First, I will remind you of several important principles of law which apply to this case. While I have already told you some of these principles at different times during the trial, it is important that I tell them to you again – not only to remind you of what I said earlier, but also to place those principles in the context of the trial which has now taken place. You must apply these instructions carefully.

Secondly, I will tell you the issues that you need to decide, and will refer you to the evidence that relates to those issues and the arguments from prosecution and defence counsel. In doing this, I will have to be selective. The mere fact that I don’t mention certain evidence does not mean that that evidence is not important. Similarly, the fact that I include certain evidence does not make that evidence more important than other evidence. You must consider all of the evidence, not just the parts of it that I mention. Which parts of that evidence are important or not important is a matter for you to determine.

Thirdly, I will explain what verdict[s] you may return in this case, and how you may wish to approach your discussion of the case in the jury room.

Remember, if at any time you have a question about anything I say, you are free to ask me by passing a note to my tipstaff.

Last updated: 30 November 2015

See Also

3.2 - Overview of Final Directions