This article explores whether the presumption of innocence is compromised by State declarations that a person is other than innocent, but which are neither predicated on nor equivalent to a criminal conviction. The task ultimately is threefold: in a descriptive sense, to establish the existing parameters of the presumption, in particular tracing its incremental expansion by the European Court of Human Rights; secondly, to present a normative argument as to what I believe the presumption should also entail, drawing on its recent doctrinal extension but moving beyond this in certain respects; and then finally to ascertain whether any labels or declarations by the State either before or absent a finding of criminal liability are problematic as regards the presumption of innocence as I propose it should be construed, and what ought to be done about this.
- Presumption of innocence
- criminal law
- European Convention on Human Rights