It is the fact that the police do not have to look beyond a confession in order to obtain a conviction which makes it so important that a suspect should not be put under pressure to answer police questions - the inevitable result of abolishing the right of silence.
The controversy surrounding the new caution demonstrates that it will be impossible for the police to advise suspects about the consequences of remaining silent. The caution fails to point out that there must be evidence other than the accused's silence before a case can be brought at all, and even lawyers have difficulty in predicting the circumstances in which a court is likely to draw an adverse inference from silence.
Secretary to the Criminal
The Law Society
31 AugustReuse content