Rules Governing the Authority Assessing Sufficiency of Evidences for Criminal Procedure (Part 1)

Dr. Ashraf Mohammed Abdul Qadir Samhan
Assistant Professor of Criminal Law
Faculty of Sharia and Law – Al-Jouf University – Saudi Arabia


This study is an attempt to identify the parameters of the authority that assesses the availability of sufficient evidence for criminal procedure to establish objective controls to limit abuse and arbitrariness in using this authority to guarantee rights and freedoms. To this end, it was found necessary to tackle this topic from four perspectives: (a) who estimates the sufficiency of evidence required for criminal action (b) the problem of banning weight of evidence in some systems (c) the nature of the authority assessing the adequacy of evidence for criminal action and the extent it is subject to judicial control and (d) means of monitoring the judiciary including the form of authorization for a criminal procedure and the reasoning about (in)sufficiency of evidence.
The researcher used two approaches. First, an analytical approach focusing on the authority assessing sufficient evidence for criminal action, discussed in its entirety, both in terms of determining the responsible authority as sometimes multiple authorities might be using the same discretion, and the extent to which the authority is subject to censorship with all its various means. Second, a comparative approach comparing the way this authority is regulated in different Arab laws to find out what had been provided in this regard so far to derive some benefit from the legislative and judicial experiences under study.
The study provided a set of interesting findings. First, the need for a proper and balanced assessment of the availability of the suspicion by the criminal control officer. Second, the trial court has no right to substitute for the control officer and decide, for itself, whether outward appearances were sufficient to assess the existence of suspicion, nor it can interpret these appearances, in one manner rather than another. Third, to ensure the effectiveness of the prosecutorial authority in assessing the availability of sufficient evidence, its power to weigh evidence, which might be denied by the judiciary in some countries, has first to be recognized. Fourth, the reasoning of authorization to inspect plays an essential role in providing sufficient evidence to justify it.
This is reasoning proper, represented by the citation of real and legal reasons that led to the action to activate the role of the various oversight bodies of this authority. Fifth, the argument for insufficient evidence required for inspection is also objective rather than procedural, meaning that it should be raised before the trial court besides exercising oversight of the availability of sufficient evidence of arrest. This is carried out through requests for the release of the detainee and through the grievance submitted to higher competencies within the authority of the investigation, through which the oversight role of the Attorney General in assessing the need for arrest or release can be activated, and finally through challenging detention orders or refusal to release.

Keywords: Weight of Evidence, Suspension, Inspection, Arrest, Detention.

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