Perjury is the indictable offence of lying or obfuscating the truth in a court of law.
The purpose of the law is to achieve justice. This reasonably means that nobody should be convicted of a crime without sufficient evidence of their guilt… but can an irrefutably guilty individual be found innocent? A recent high-profile criminal case has attracted enough media attention that significant alternations have been made to trial proceedings to manage it, but certain details have slipped through the cracks. There might be whispers in the shadows.
Someone has been charged with committing a crime. Maybe they did it, maybe they really didn’t. Either way, the accused is on bail and the jury is still out on this one.
Players take the place of one of the following roles: the Defendant, who may or may not have committed the crime; the Defence or Prosecution, who debate the case in the courtroom; Witnesses, who may either support or condemn the defendant; the Jury, who decides the final outcome; and Journalists, with the power to influence the public’s opinion.
Responsibilities of Roles
A criminal case begins with the arrest of an individual accused of committing a crime, known as the defendant. All players know who the defendant is. This person has the right to give their version of facts under oath or to remain silent. Lying or obfuscating the truth in court constitutes an indictable offence known as perjury.
The defendant is not responsible for proving their own innocence.
The defence attorney is the lawyer who represents the defendant in court and is responsible for convincing the jury that the prosecution is unable to prove their case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt.
The prosecution is the lawyer who is responsible for proving the defendant guilty of their crime. The prosecution will succeed if their case is supported by the evidence and a jury is satisfied that this has occurred beyond a reasonable doubt.
A witness is a person who claims to have information which may be relevant to a court case.
The jury consists of everyday folk. Their responsibility in a criminal case is to evaluate the evidence from both parties and to deliver an unbiased verdict.
The purpose of journalism is to provide a public service by informing citizens about current events and issues. This may involve the act of exposing crimes, or preventing the public from being misled by an individual or organisation. Journalists must be trusted by the public to provide accurate information, although certain writers might misrepresent the truth.
The purpose of this roleplay would be to provide a casual environment where players can improve their debating skills. Every player (with the exception of the jury) is assigned a win condition for the defendant to be found either innocent or guilty.