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: 64109 Find in a Library
Title: RECORDED INTERVIEWS, LAW REFORM AND THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF ELECTRONICS
Journal: AUSTRALIAN POLICE JOURNAL  Volume:33  Issue:4  Dated:(OCTOBER 1979)  Pages:195-210
Author(s): A J SING; G A HINKS
Corporate Author: Australian Police Journal
Australia
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Police Journal
Sydney, 2001, Australia
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: THE SUPERIORITY OF TYPEWRITTEN RECORDED INTERVIEWS OVER TAPE RECORDED INTERVIEWS FOR CONFESSIONS OBTAINED BY POLICE IS ARGUED AND RESTRICTIVE LEGISLATION AFFECTING POLICE INVESTIGATIONS IS OPPOSED.
Abstract: THE AUSTRALIAN LAW REFORM COMMISSION AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS HAVE RECOMMENDED REGULATION OF THE MANNER IN WHICH POLICE CONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS, PARTICULARLY THE MANNER IN WHICH THEY OBTAIN SELF-INCRIMINATORY EVIDENCE. THE MANDATORY USE OF TAPE RECORDERS AND THE PRESENCE OF A LAWYER OR THE PRISONER'S FRIEND AT THE INTERVIEW STAGE HAVE BEEN ADVOCATED. MANDATORY USE OF TAPE RECORDERS, HOWEVER, WOULD HAVE NEGATIVE RAMIFICATIONS. IN 'R. V. NILSON' (1968) V.R. 238 THE ACCUSED, AFTER BEING CAUTIONED BY POLICE, WAS INTERROGATED AND A RECORD OF INTERVIEW AND ACKNOWLEDGED ITS TRUTH AND ACCURACY BUT REFUSED TO SIGN IT. HIS READING OF THE INTERVIEW WAS TAPE RECORDED. THE TAPE WAS ADMITTED AND THE ACCUSED CONVICTED. ON APPEAL, IT WAS HELD THAT SUCH A RECORDING IS ADMISSIBLE PROVIDED IT IS AN ACCURATE RECORD OF WHAT OCCURRED AND THE VOICES ARE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED. THESE REQUIREMENTS CAN PROVIDE A BASIS FOR QUESTIONING THE AUTHENTICITY OF POORLY RECORDED CONFESSIONS AND CHARGES OF TAPE ALTERATION. THE MAKING OF THE TAPE MUST BE PROPERLY PROVED. THERE MUST BE EVIDENCE OF CONTINUITY OF POSSESSION OF THE TAPE. IDENTITY OF THEE VOICES MUST BE ESTABLISHED AND IT MUST BE SHOWN THAT THE TAPE IS AN ORIGINAL, NOT A RERECORDING. THE ULTIMATE QUESTION OF AUTHENTICITY IS ONE FOR THE JURY TO DECIDE AFTER HEARING EXPERT TESTIMONY. IN CONTRAST, THE TECHNOLOGY OF TYPEWRITER-RECORDED INTERVIEWS IS RELATIVELY SIMPLE. THE COST FACTOR AND SKILL REQUIRED BY THE INTERVIEWER ARE RELATIVELY MINOR, AND PROOF OF AUTHENTICITY IS RARELY A PROBLEM. IN SHORT, THE TYPEWRITER-RECORDED INTERVIEW IS AN UNCOMPLICATED, RELIABLE INVESTIGATIVE DEVICE. SUPPORTER OF THE MANDATORY USE OF ELECTRONIC RECORDING DEVICES FOR THE RECORDING OF ADMISSIONS AND CONFESSIONS HAVE NOT CONSIDERED THE PRACTICALITIES FULLY. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT TAPE RECORDING OF INTERVIEWS AS A CORROBORATIVE MEASURE, USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH TYPEWRITTEN-RECORDED INTERVIEWS IN CONTENTIOUS CASES, WOULD BE APPROPRIATE. (LWM)
Index Term(s): Australia; Confessions; Evidence; Interview and interrogation; Suspect interrogation; Tape recordings
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64109

*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.