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Page 1

Glasgow Theses Service

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Griffiths, David Barclay (1992) Confessions, admissions and
declarations by persons accused of crime under Scots law : a historic and
comparative study.
PhD thesis.

Copyright and moral rights for this thesis are retained by the author

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Page 2

Canf ac3ci an is e Ad mi sei ans and

D¬c1 r-e t ians by Porsa> nes AccuiE3 4E3d

caf Crime Under Scatc Laºw.

Ahi imt c, r is exr d romparat i vD cat tidy


David Bairclsty Gr-iffithG LL. B.

Volumo 2

Dagrým ® of Dact c) r- of Phi loEaphy

DQpa. rt mant of Fra. viat c Lmw

Uni vc3r .ity crf Gl etmac>w

March 1992

0 David B. Griffiths March 1992

Page 226


restricted to CID investigations in cases which were thought by

the police to justify prosecution in the Sheriff or High Court

and where the suspect was aged 16 or over. 4

An interim research report was produced covering the first

twenty-four months of the experiment 0 and as the first U. K.

study of tape recording of police interrogations it naturally

attracted some interest, This early research indicated that only

a minimal number of suspects refused to be taped and oven fewer

attempted to fake maltreatment or assault by the police. However

as far as the behaviour of the police was concerned, the figures

showed that there had been a dramatic effect on both the length

and the content of interviews. There was a dramatic rime,

particularly in Falkirk, of suspects who made statements before

arriving at the police station and there were delays between the

suspect arriving at the police station and the tape-recorder

being activated.

That tape-recording, particularly in Dundee, got off to a shaky

start was due in no small measure to the decision by Lord Jauncey

in F, M. Advocate v McFadden. unreported AT; Cum 1980 to which

reference has already been made. 0 In this case a whole interview

was hold inadmissible on the grounds of cross-examination, even

though his Lordship found parts of it to be entirely fair to the

accused. It was to be come three years before the issue was

settled and McFadden overruled, "

Page 227


In an article discussing the interim report two English

commentators observed:

"The SHHD Report assumes that suspects increas-

ingly exercised their right to silence when being

tape-recorded. It is more likely that the police

extracted most of the information they wanted in

the pre-interrogation interview (non-taped) and

thus conducted themselves in the formal (taped)

interview in ouch a way that their questions were

designed not to elicit answers. . ý.

It emerges that police acceptance of public

scrutiny of their activities is low and, more

importantly, that they have found ways of

disguising this attitude in the context of tape-

recording. What has happened is that the police

have managed to give the appearance of accepting

taping by recording an acceptable number of

interviews. fc"ade taught the police the lesson

that there were real dangers in recording the

traditional interrogation. What is recorded

therefore is what is acceptable to the courts and

what would pass public scrutiny. ...

have been taped; interrogations have continued to

take place in secret. " '0

Page 452


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Page 453


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