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Title: Procedural fairness at the police station
Author: Choongh, Satnam Singh
ISNI:       0000 0001 3547 9187
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1994
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This thesis questions whether it is right to allow the police to detain and interrogate suspects at the police station. It asks whether there are procedures in place to ensure that suspects are not coerced or intimidated into confessing falsely; whether it is consistent with adversarial ideals of adjudication for the courts to endorse confessions of guilt which have been made in an inherently coercive atmosphere; and whether it is justifiable to use powers of arrest to facilitate interrogation. The thesis provides some historical background to current police powers, and then goes on to demonstrate that controls on police questioning were gradually relaxed in the period of the Judges' Rules (1912-84). It is shown that the arguments put forward to justify the increase in police powers, namely that the police were neutral investigators from whom suspects had nothing to fear and that powers of questioning were vital for crime control, could not be sustained in the light of then known facts. The legal framework which currently regulates police powers is described, and it is argued that it pays insufficient regard to due process values. The thesis draws upon interviews with defendants in order to address the issue of whether those who go through the process perceive police station procedures as fair or unfair. Through a combination of interview and observational data, the thesis seeks to establish that granting legal 'rights' to those detained at the police station does not always empower them to resist police pressure and coercion.\The thesis concludes that police powers of detention and questioning contribute little to the task of identifying and convicting offenders, sometimes lead to miscarriages of justice, and may be used to inflict arbitrary and summary punishment. It is therefore recommended that the police right to interrogate suspects be abolished.
Supervisor: Hood, Roger Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Police questioning--England ; Arrest--England ; Police questioning--England--History