Essay On Right To Silence

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At common law, there exists a number of fundamental rights for those being questioned by police. In this regard, the emergence of the privilege against self-incrimination and the right to silence represents a ‘landmark event in the history of Anglo-American criminal procedure.’ As we shall see, these principles are intrinsically linked to the presumption of innocence and burden of proof. Policy makers in Northern Ireland contended that defendants were afforded too much of an advantage by virtue of these rights and that dealing with the ‘wall of silence’ in the interviewing of terrorist suspects necessitated the curtailment of these rights. After a short discussion on the history of these concepts, the focus in the second part will primarily shift towards an analysis of the Criminal Evidence (NI) Order 1988 which was enacted by use of an expedited procedure. Where relevant, reference will also be made to its England and Wales equivalent. The legislation presents many complex social, moral, political and legal issues which give rise to much tension, especially the balancing act between protecting the rights of the accused and bringing offences to justice in a competent manner.
The enactment of the
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Referring to the Murray v UK ruling, Naughton writes that ‘the denial of legal advice that prejudices a suspect’s right to a fair trial may render the police in breach of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In the England and Wales context, Zander suggested that a solicitor’s advice regarding silence could follow on much as it had been prior to the introduction of the legislation curtailing silence, or that solicitors would be more likely to encourage

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