|| "You had the right to remain silent"
||Jan. 11th, 2005 05:41 pm|
Sounds like you still would if you weren't accused of anything. Potentially a move closer to the US system of having to answer unless you do the equivalent of pleading the fifth.
It sounded to me like you would have the right to remain silent if you were accused of something, but not if you were a witness to the something. Maybe I misread it though...
Yes. That's what it sounds like.
That's how I read it. However, if witnesses are compelled to answer, it can jeopardise their safety, so they are also going to have to set up witness protection schemes.
The right to silence for defendants in criminal trials was in effect abolished - or at least, seriously weakened - some years ago. Previously, you could reserve your defence until you appeared in court, and the court was not allowed to take the fact that you'd stayed stumm in to account in deciding the case. These days, as the revised caution says, "it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something you later rely on in court".
The report is too vague for me to tell whether they are talking about a genuinely new power, or simply about the existing subpoena procedures.