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Comment 7th July 2010

1. I would suggest the repeal of the curtailment of the “right of silence” provisions in sections 34 to 38 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

2. These provisions are not in force in Scotland, and it is therefore wrong that there should be such provisions in force in England whilst not in other parts of the UK, and a suspect’s and defendant’s rights should be uniform in all of the U.K. jurisdictions.

3. These provisions have been watered down by the effect of the Condron v UK judgment in the European Court of Human Rights, and have in effect become unworkable.

4. There have also been numerous decisions of the Court of Appeal in relation to the effects of these ridiculous provisions, and the expense to the taxpayer and waste of court time and recourses has been enormous.

5. The provision that adverse inferences may be made if the suspect fails to mention when questioned something that he or she later relies on in court is ridiculous, especially as the suspect could have forgotten something important during interview.

6. The provision attacks the presumption of innocence and is undemocratic and unconstitutional and should be repealed to prevent serious miscarriages of justice.

Why does this matter?

It would restore what was a suspect’s right over many years prior to the unfair provisions being brought into force in 1994

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