Ratio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio DecidendiRatio Decidendi


(2001) JELR 69879 (HC)    
High Court  ·  10 Dec 2001 ·  Ghana
Other Citations
[2001-2002] 2 GLR 424

Ratio Decidendi

Core Terms Beta
court computerisation project
accused person
murder of dr parkman
principal economic officer of the ministry of finance
dr boadu
chief justice shaw
letters of interest
circumstantial evidence
behalf of the defence
dissemination of legal information
duty of the prosecution
former deputy minister of finance
false pretences
oversight committee
chief director of the ministry of justice
consultancy services
brief summary of the evidence of each witness
respect of the court computerisation project
institutional restructuring of the ministry of justice
said representation
mr kafui senaya
name dr frederick owusu boadu
republic of ghana
cd rom
financial loss
representation of the existence of a state
second payment
first witness
moral certainty of the truth of the charge
particular crime
exhibit c
chief justice kendal bushe
authority letter
counsel mr kwaku baah
reasonable doubt
private sector development
calm view of the whole evidence
dr frederick owusu boadu
leebda corporation
deputy minister of finance
hon mr dan abodakpi
criminal proceedings
legal offices
exhibit a



The accused person, Victor Selormey, a former Deputy Minister of Finance, has been charged with two counts of fraud by false pretences, two counts of conspiracy to cause financial loss to the State and two counts of causing financial loss to the state. He has pleaded not guilty to all the six counts.

In all criminal proceedings in this Republic it is the responsibility and the duty of the prosecution to prove the charges against the accused person beyond reasonable doubt. But what is reasonable doubt? Several definitions have been given by eminent jurists. But I prefer to quote the definition given by Chief Justice Shaw in 1850, during the trial of Prof Webster of Harvard University, for the murder of Dr Parkman in Commonwealth v. Webster, 59 Mass (5 Cush) 295 at 320 (1850). He said:

“It is the condition of mind which exists, when the jurors cannot say that they feel an abiding conviction, a moral certainty of the truth of the charge. For it is not sufficient for the P…
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