Alternative Approaches

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

Alternative Approaches

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The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 have radically transformed English law as it relates to the evidential effects of pre-trial investigation of offences by the police and analogous agencies. In the United States, during the first part of the 1960s, a federal constitutional dimension to the treatment of unlawfully obtained evidence and confession evidence was authoritatively announced. During the last half-century, the Scottish courts have wavered between a strict view of the inadmissibility of confessions and a flexible one. In Australia and Canada, the courts have developed a jurisprudence for exclusion of both confession and non-confession evidence. In England itself, it has been suggested that confession evidence ought to be corroborated or, in some other way, supported by other evidence before reliance can properly be placed upon it. Alternatively, judges ought to be required to warn juries of the dangers of unreliability which sometimes attend confessions and advised of how best to deal with those dangers.

Keywords: Police and Criminal Evidence Act; United States; England; police; unlawfully obtained evidence; confession evidence; inadmissibility; confessions; unreliability

Chapter.  28047 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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