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