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Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

16. Adverse inferences from an accused’s silence or conduct  

This chapter discusses the adverse inferences that may be drawn against an accused from: his failure to testify; his failure, when questioned or charged, to mention facts which he could reasonably have been expected to have mentioned at that time and which he later relies on in his defence at trial; his failure or refusal, on arrest, to account for any object, substance, or mark that the police reasonably believe may be attributable to his participation in the commission of an offence; his refusal to consent to the taking of an intimate sample, such as a sample of blood, semen, or urine; and his failure to provide advance disclosure of the defence case, the nature of his defence, or the facts on which he takes issue with the prosecution.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

12. Drawing adverse inferences from a defendant’s omissions, lies, or false alibis  

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. A suspect’s silence in response to questioning is liable to arouse suspicion. This chapter discusses: the so-called right to silence; permissible inferences drawn from the defendant’s silence at common law; the failures provisions of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994: permissible inferences drawn from the defendant’s failure to mention facts, failure to testify, failure or refusal to account for objects etc, or failure to account for presence; permissible inferences drawn from lies told by the defendant: Lucas directions; permissible inferences drawn from false alibis put forward by the defendant.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

5. The Right to Silence and the Privilege against Self-Incrimination  

Chapter 5 deals with the right to silence and the privilege against self-incrimination. It considers relevant provisions of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. These include sections 34, 36, and 37, which permit adverse inferences to be drawn from certain failures of the defendant at the pre-trial stage. Section 34, in particular, has generated a substantial body of case law. The manner in which the Court of Appeal has resolved the issue of silence on legal advice has been subjected to particular criticism. The operation of section 34 has been held to be compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights so long as a sufficiently watertight direction is given to the jury. The implications for the privilege against self-incrimination of statutory provisions that criminalize the failure to provide information to law enforcement authorities are also considered.