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Abstract

The principle that the prosecution must prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt is basic to the administration of criminal justice (Woolmington v The Queen). The purpose of this article is to determine the outer limits of the principle by reviewing some recent cases in the High Court of Australia. These cases show that the Woolmington principle is not absolute. It does not govern every aspect or stage of a criminal trial. It is hoped that by studying the exceptions to the general principle, its central meaning will be seen in sharper focus.

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