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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 The Modern Law of Evidence

7. Examination-in-chief  

The questioning of witnesses, which generally falls into three stages known as examination-in-chief, cross-examination, and re-examination, is central to the English adversary system of justice. This chapter focuses on the first stage, examination-in-chief. In this stage the party calling a witness, or counsel on his behalf, will seek to elicit evidence that supports his version of the facts in issue. The discussions cover young and vulnerable witnesses; the rule against leading questions and the exceptions to the rule; refreshing the memory in court and out of court; the rule against previous consistent or self-serving statements and the common law exceptions to the rule (complaints in sexual cases, statements admissible to rebut allegations of recent fabrication, statements made on accusation, previous identification, statements admissible as part of the res gestae and statements in documents used to refresh the memory and received in evidence); and unfavourable and hostile witnesses.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

8. Cross-examination and re-examination  

This chapter first discusses cross-examination, the questioning of a witness immediately after his examination-in-chief by the legal representative of the opponent of the party calling him, or by the opposing party in person, and by the legal representative of any other party to the proceedings or by any other party in person. The object of cross-examination is to elicit evidence which supports the cross-examining party’s version of the facts in issue and to cast doubt upon the witness’s evidence-in-chief. It then turns to re-examination. A witness who has been cross-examined may be re-examined by the party who called him. The object of re-examination is to repair damage that has been done by cross-examination.

Chapter

Cover Sanders & Young's Criminal Justice

5. Police questioning of suspects  

This chapter examines the power of the police to question suspects, both in theory and in practice. It discusses the expanding powers of the police to interrogate, reflecting the drift from due process to crime control; the multiple aims of police interviews; the dwindling away of the right to silence, for example as a result of the introduction of adverse inferences and the ‘sidelining’ of legal advice; the (inadequate) regulation of interrogation, for example, through trial remedies founded on interviews being ‘unfair’ or ‘oppressive’ ; traditional police interview tactics; the development of investigative interviewing, based on the PEACE model; why the innocent confess and the role of coercion and suggestibility in this; and the need for a corroboration rule.

Chapter

Cover The Criminal Process

5. Questioning  

This chapter examines the questioning stage of the criminal process, looking at the role and powers of the police. It covers the context of questioning and interviewing of suspects, interviewing victims, and confessions in court. It argues that confessions remain a suspect type of evidence despite the fact that the police questioning process is well regulated. Police detention will always be stressful, and innocent suspects will always have some incentives for confessing. This is why there is a case to be made for the corroboration of confessions. It is also crucial that the gains made since the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) are not undermined by government initiatives to cut costs by reducing the amount and quality of legal advice available to suspects.

Chapter

Cover Murphy on Evidence

15. Character evidence II  

Evidence of bad character

This chapter discusses the evidence of bad character in criminal cases since the abolition of the common law rules relating to it. It covers the definition of bad character under ss. 98 and 112 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003; evidence of bad character of accused and the admissible gateways under s. 101; evidence of bad character of persons other than accused under s. 100; safeguards in relation to evidence of bad character under s. 103; and other statutory provisions dealing with bad character, in particular those dealing with sexual history questioning: s. 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

3. The Course of Evidence  

Chapter 3 examines the principles relating to the presentation of evidence in court. It first discusses the adversarial tradition upon which the English trial process is based. It then distinguishes between the principles governing the questioning of one’s own witness (which occurs in examination-in-chief and re-examination) and those governing the questioning of another party’s witness (which occurs in cross-examination). It shows that, in criminal proceedings, provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 now deal with two particular matters that may arise in the course of questioning one’s own witness—the extent to which refreshing memory is permitted, and the extent to which a previous consistent statement is admissible in evidence. The chapter also considers other issues, including the judicial approach to ‘no case to answer’ submissions in criminal trials, and the extent to which the claimant or prosecution may adduce further evidence after closing its case.