In an article published in the Criminal Law Review in 1977, Andrew Ashworth advanced his ‘protective principle’ as a novel rationale for excluding improperly obtained evidence from criminal trials. ‘Excluding Evidence as Protecting Rights’ became an instant classic. This chapter explores the ramifications of the ‘protective principle’. It revisits Ashworth's protective principle in the light of developments in criminal procedure law and scholarship over thirty years. It finds Ashworth's work remarkably prescient in anticipating current controversies bearing on the status of constitutional principles and human rights and their implications for the admissibility of evidence in criminal trials. The chapter further elaborates the protective principle for a post-Human Rights Act era and opens up new the lines of enquiry suggested by Ashworth's original conception.
Keywords: protective principle; criminal law; improperly obtained evidence; criminal trials; human rights act
Chapter. 10027 words.
Subjects: Criminal Law
Full text: subscription required