The application of the Constitutional rights of presumption of innicence in the Bail proceedings in Zambia. An analysis
Kalobwe, Sheila Mwansa
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The right to bail implements the basic presumption of innocence that the law assumes for every person charged with a criminal offence. An accused person is presumed to be innocent until actually convicted, and like all iimocent people, does not belong in jail. The justification for bail in criminal administration is that, it is a way of attempting to resolve a clash between the danger of the accused person absconding trial when requested and his presumption of innocence, his right to liberty and not to subject him to punishment before conviction. The law of bail acknowledges the criminal jurisprudence that even a person accused of committing a felony, is presumed innocent until proven guilty. It would therefore seem harsh and unreasonable treatment that the accused are committed to imprisonment without a possibility for bail apart from the exceptional cases that are not bailable. Bail supports the presumption of innocence until guilt is absolutely proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt. If it is not for bail, the accused persons would virtually be serving a sentence for a crime he or she has not been convicted on. Excessive bail has the same effect, if an accused bail is excessive; the amount is set higher than is reasonable. The idea behind bail is to make sure the accused is present during the trial. In Zambia, the jurisdiction over bail is in the hands of the Judiciary and it has the inherent jurisdiction to bridge the gulf between the presumption of innocence and the right to bail. This paper will endeavor to identify how the presumption of iimocence is applied in bail proceedings. It shall further be established whether the administration of justice overrides the need for freedom and the right to a fair trial.
- Law