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NCJ Number: 126456 Find in a Library
Title: Self-Incrimination Debate
Journal: Criminal Justice  Volume:5  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1990)  Pages:7-10,39-42
Author(s): M Berger
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 8
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: While issues surrounding the self-incrimination privilege are being argued in the United States, Great Britain has been in the process of reforming its law governing confessions by curtailing the right to silence for suspects facing police interrogation as well as for defendants at trial.
Abstract: This followed the implementation of right-to-silence restrictions in Northern Ireland prosecutions and the passage of general legislation that altered the standards for the admissibility of confessions. Observing the process under way in Great Britain leads to inevitable comparisons with the self-incrimination debate in the U.S. After all, both countries share the same common law history out of which the right of silence grew, and each has a long-standing commitment to an adversary system of justice in which the self-incrimination privilege is a central feature. The potential impact on police investigative practices and the uncertainty as to the probative value of a defendant's silence in court are problems that both countries are likely to experience if restrictions are imposed on the right to silence. However, because policing in Great Britain is centralized and the U.S. police fragmented, there is even a greater need for measures to protect the right to remain silent in the U.S. in order to avoid the risk of abuse.
Main Term(s): Right against self incrimination
Index Term(s): Great Britain/United Kingdom; Law reform; Policy analysis; US/foreign comparisons
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