Miscarriage of justice

Filed Under: Criminal Law

” . . . like ‘wrongful conviction’ [the expression] can be used to describe the conviction of the demonstrably innocent . . . . But, again like ‘wrongful conviction,’ it can be and has been used to describe cases in which defendants, guilty or not, should not have been convicted.”

An unfairness in a criminal trial which justifies an appellate court in overturning an accused’s conviction. Section 686(1) of the Criminal Code sets out three bases upon which an appeal from conviction can be granted: an unreasonable verdict, an error of law which is not harmless (see curative proviso) and a miscarriage of justice. Miscarriage of justice is the underlying principle of all three bases: the first two are specific examples.

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