The Principles Behind Exclusion

Peter Mirfield

in Silence, Confessions and Improperly Obtained Evidence

Published in print February 1998 | ISBN: 9780198262695
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682391 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Criminal Law and Justice

The Principles Behind Exclusion

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Judges have been reluctant to articulate what principle or principles lie behind the various rules and discretionary powers governing confessions, unlawfully or unfairly obtained evidence, or the right to silence in the police station. A good example of this reluctance is DPP v. Ping Lin. The House of Lords was called upon to stake out the limits of the mature exclusionary rule at common law for confessions, yet the four Law Lords who delivered speeches refused to disclose whether, in their view, the rule was based upon what is described as the ‘reliability principle’ or upon what is known as the ‘disciplinary principle’. There are cases in which courts have been prepared to indicate what principle lies or principles lie behind the law. A good example is the speech of Lord Diplock in Sang, which contains a very clear, express endorsement of the principle nemo debet prodere se ipsum as governing exclusion of confession evidence and exclusion of unlawfully or unfairly obtained evidence, and an equally clear and express rejection of the disciplinary principle.

Keywords: confessions; right to silence; House of Lords; exclusionary rule; reliability principle; disciplinary principle; exclusion; confession evidence; unlawfully obtained evidence

Chapter.  15366 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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