Tag Archives: Criminal Justice

Adversarial Deficit and the Right to Silence in the UK Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (Published)

This review article examined the impact of the United Kingdom’s Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJPOA) on the accused’s right to silence. It specifically analyzed the provisions in sections 34 – 38 of the Act vis a vis inferences from accused’s silence. The paper adopted descriptive and historical research methods in reviewing  and investigating existing variables and systematically captured relevant past data that have bearing on the present. The main finding of the paper showed that the evidential significance of the accused silence in the CJPOA appears to have undermined the presumption of innocence and the privilege against self- incrimination further aggravating the deficit in the adversarial system. The paper recommended that steps be taken to mitigate the impact of adverse inference on the right to silence. These include but not limited to the ‘reading down’ of sections 34 – 37 and placement of the Woolmington’s golden rule in a more predominant limelight.

Keywords: Adversarial Deficit, Adversarialism, Adverse Inference., Criminal Justice, Right to Silence, the UK CJPOA


The concept of “plea bargain” is a new phenomenon in the Nigerian legal system. It has been trailed with a lot of controversy. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has recently been applying the concept to release many corrupt public officers who should have been in jail. The idea is that they agree to plead guilty for a lesser charge with minimal punishment in exchange for the return of most of their stolen wealth. The opponents of this practice believe that the end result of the practice would be counterproductive in the fight against corruption as it will encourage other public officers to steal public money. This paper examines the origin of the concept, its development across the globe and the issues arising from the emerging practice of plea bargain in Nigeria. The paper also makes some valuable suggestions as to how not to make the practice become a leeway for encouraging treasury looters.

Keywords: Criminal Justice, Plea Bargaining, legal system