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At The Police Station Notes

LPC Law Notes > Criminal Litigation Notes

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A more recent version of these At The Police Station notes – written by Cambridge And Oxilp And College Of Law students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Criminal Litigation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Core Module: Criminal Litigation

Criminal Litigation At the Police Station - interview, Cautioning & rights to silence

1. Powers of Police



1 2 3 4 5

Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 [PACE]
Focus on powers of detention and interview!
Codes of Practice -
-Code C = rules on detention; treatment & questioning of suspect The Custody Record Right not to be held incommunicado - section 5 Right to legal advice - section 6 Interviews - Section 11 Detention - Section 15

If code C is breached:

Breach of code is not a criminal offence or a civil wrong

S.67(11) PACE obliges courts in civil & criminal proceedings to take into account any breach of the code which appears to be relevant to the issue in those proceedings
[i.e. defence can use breach to argue for inadmissible evidence]


S.76 PACE - confession given as a result of oppression (or things said or done that makes confession unreliable) -court will not allow confession to be given as evidence unless prosecutio can prove beyond reasonable doubt that confession was NOT obtained in those circumstances.

S.76(2): If, in any proceedings where the prosecution proposes to give in evidence a confession made by a accused person, it is represented to the court that the confession was or may have been obtained---
(a) By oppression of the person who made it; or (b) In consequence of anything said or done which was likely, in the circumstances existing at the time, to render unreliable any confession which might be made by him in consequence thereof, The court SHALL NOT ALLOW the confession to be given in evidence against him except in so far as the prosecution proves to the court beyond reasonable doubt that the confession (notwithstanding that it may b true) was not obtained as aforesaid

If there is oppression = Court must exclude the evidence that was gained! This is mandatory. (as opposed to S.78 which is discretionary)


S.78 PACE - exclusion of unfair evidence if obtained in any unfair way (applies to police powers to search; arrest; offering right to legal advice; detention; interview; identification):

S.78(1) In any proceedings the court MAY refuse to allow evidence on which the prosecution proposes to r to be given if it appears to the court that, having regard to all the circumstances, including the circumstance in which the evidence was obtained, the admission of the evidence would have such an adverse effect on fairness of the proceedings that the court ought not to admit it.

Breach S.78 = Judge has DISCRETION to exclude the evidence.


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