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7.8.2.2 - Checklist: Common law perjury

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Five elements the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

1. The accused made a false statement; and

2. The accused made the false statement on oath or under affirmation; and

3. The accused made the false statement in a judicial proceeding; and

4. The statement was material to the proceeding; and

5. The accused knew the statement was false or did not believe it was true.

False Statement

1. Did the accused make a false statement?

Consider There must be evidence supporting the primary witness’ evidence that the statement is false.

If yes, then go to 2

If no, then the accused is not guilty of perjury

Oath or affirmation

2. Did the accused make the false statement on oath or under affirmation?

If yes, then go to 3

If no, then the accused is not guilty of perjury

Judicial Proceedings

3. Was the false statement made in a judicial proceeding?

If yes, then go to 4

If no, then the accused is not guilty of perjury

Statement was material

4. Was the false statement material to the proceeding?

Consider – A statement is material if it could have affected the court’s decision, or the credibility of a witness.

If yes, then go to 5.1

If no, then the accused is not guilty of perjury

Knowledge that the statement was false

5.1 Did the accused know the statement was false?

If yes, then the accused is guilty of perjury (as long as you also answered yes to questions 1, 2, 3 and 4)

If no, then go to 5.2

5.2 Has the prosecution proved that the accused did not believe the statement was true?

Consider – The accused is not guilty of perjury if he or she honestly but mistakenly believed that the statement was true

If yes, then the accused is guilty of perjury (as long as you also answered yes to questions 1, 2, 3 and 4)

If no, then the accused is not guilty of perjury

 

Last updated: 11 July 2018

See Also

7.8.2 - Common Law Perjury

7.8.2.1 - Charge: Common Law Perjury