skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 62991 Find in a Library
Title: EVIDENCE TO THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, MEMORANDUM NO NINE - THE LAW OF EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS - ENGLAND
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: Great Britain Home Office
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 46
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office
London, SW1H 9AT, England
Great Britain Home Office
London, SWIH 9AT, England
Sale Source: Great Britain Home Office
Pub. Home Office Library
Room 1001 Home Office
Queen Anne's Gate
London, SWIH 9AT,
United Kingdom
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: REFORM ISSUES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM'S LAWS OF EVIDENCE ARE IDENTIFIED IN THE AREAS OF PRETRIAL SILENCE OF THE ACCUSED, THE VOLUNTARINESS RULE, THE ACCUSED'S GIVING OF EVIDENCE, AND IMPROPERLY OBTAINED EVIDENCE.
Abstract: A MAJOR ISSUE NEEDING CONSIDERATION IS WHETHER THE SILENCE OF THE ACCUSED BEFORE AND DURING THE TRIAL CAN BE THE SUBJECT OF ADVERSE COMMENT AT THE TRIAL. AN IMPORTANT SUBSIDIARY ISSUE IS WHETHER THERE SHOULD BE DIFFERENT PROVISION IN THE LAW GOVERNING HOW FAR THE JUDGE, AS OPPOSED TO THE PROSECUTION, CAN COMMENT ON THE ACCUSED'S SILENCE. ANOTHER ISSUE IS WHETHER CHANGE IS NEEDED IN THE PRESENT PRACTICE OF ALLOWING INFERENCES TO BE DRAWN FROM THE ACCUSED'S SILENCE IN THE FACE OF A STATEMENT BY SOMEONE WITH WHOM THE ACCUSED IS ON EQUAL TERMS AND THE DIVIDING LINE BETWEEN THIS PRACTICE AND THAT WHICH APPLIES WHEN A SUSPECT IS BEING QUESTIONED BY AN INVESTIGATOR. UNDER CURRENT COURT RULINGS, A CONFESSION IS NOT ADMISSIBLE AS EVIDENCE UNLESS IT HAS BEEN VOLUNTARILY GIVEN BY THE DEFENDANT. THE DIFFICULTIES INVOLVED IN APPLYING THIS RULE HAVE PRODUCED ARGUMENTS FOR EXCLUDING ALL CONFESSIONS, ADMITTING ALL CONFESSIONS, AND RELAXING OR TIGHTENING THE VOLUNTARINESS RULE. THE CENTRAL ISSUE IN THE MATTER OF THE ACCUSED'S GIVING EVIDENCE IS WHETHER THE PROSECUTION AND THE JUDGE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO COMMENT ON THE FAILURE OF THE ACCUSED TO GIVE EVIDENCE AND WHETHER THE COURT OR JURY, IN DETERMINING GUILT, SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DRAW ADVERSE INFERENCES FROM THAT FAILURE TO TESTIFY. FINALLY, THE INADMISSIBILITY OF THE SOURCE OF INFORMATION REGARDING THE LOCATION OF EVIDENCE MUST BE CONSIDERED, NOTABLY WHERE THE ACCUSED HAS PROVIDED SUCH INFORMATION. THE INADMISSIBILITY OF THIS INFORMATION THUS RENDERS PRACTICALLY USELESS EVIDENCE OBTAINED FROM A LOCATION NOT LOGICALLY LINKED TO THE ACCUSED. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Evidence collection; Law reform; Rights of the accused; Rules of evidence; United Kingdom (UK)
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62991

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.