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The maxim,' Innocent until proven guilty', has had a good run in the twentieth century. The United Nations incorporated the principle in its Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 under article eleven, section one. The maxim also found a place in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights in 1953 [as article 6, section 2] and was incorporated into the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [as article 14, section 2]. This was a satisfying development for Americans because there are few maxims that have a greater resonance in Anglo-American, common law jurisprudence. The Anglo-American reverence for the maxim does pose an interesting conundrum: it cannot be found in the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights of 1689, the Declaration of Independence, or in the Constitution of the United States; and not, I might add, in the works of the great English jurists, Bracton, Coke, and Blackstone. Nevertheless, some scholars have claimed that the maxim has been firmly embedded in English jurisprudence since the earliest times.



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