Author Topic: Closing Speech of Sir Frederick Geoffrey Lawrence, Q.C. in R v Adams  (Read 34 times)

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Online QCChevalier

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The following passage is from the closing speech of Sir Frederick Geoffrey Lawrence, Q.C., defence counsel to Dr. John Bodkin Adams in R v Adams, a 1957 case. 

Dr. Adams was acquitted.  This passage sums up my approach here on this Forum.  I would go as far as to say that these words should be shown to every person asked to undertake jury service in this country:

"Justice is of paramount consideration here, and the only way in which this can be done is for you to judge the matter on what you have heard in this court and in this court only.

What you read in the papers, what you hear in the train, what you hear in the caf├ęs and restaurants, what your friends and relations come and tell you; rumour, gossip, all the rest of it, may be so wrong.

The possibility of guilt is not enough, suspicion is not enough, probability is not enough, likelihood is not. A criminal matter is not a question of balancing probabilities and deciding in favour of a probability.

If the accusation is not proved beyond reasonable doubt against the man accused in the dock, then by law he is entitled to be acquitted, because that is the way our rules work.

It is no concession to given him the benefit of the doubt. He is entitled by law to a verdict of not guilty.
"

Source: R v Adams [1957]
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 09:58:PM by QCChevalier »