Vulnerable Suspects

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

Vulnerable Suspects

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There are many causes of special vulnerability which may affect particular suspects who are interviewed by the police. For example, special problems clearly arise in the case of blind, illiterate, or deaf suspects, as well as with those who do not understand English well or at all. Equally, it is apparent that the police often have to grapple with the issue of what steps should be taken as regards persons under the influence of drink or drugs. Three conditions which lead to vulnerability have proved to be especially prominent not only in the authorities but also in the commentaries: juvenility, mental handicap, and mental disorder. This chapter sets out first what is meant by the three terms, ‘juvenile’, ‘mental handicap’, and ‘mental disorder’, these being the key terms so far as the Police anti Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and Code C are concerned. This chapter then examines the notion of the appropriate adult and the admissibility of evidence to establish mental disorder or mental handicap.

Keywords: Police anti Criminal Evidence Act; vulnerability; suspects; police; juvenile; mental handicap; mental disorder; appropriate adult; admissibility; evidence

Chapter.  11875 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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