On the right to silence, all the rhetoric is deafening | Law

On the right to silence, all the rhetoric is deafening

Professor David Dixon, Dean of Law, writes in the Sydney Morning Herald (16 August 2012).

Premier Barry O'Farrell's announcement of plans to restrict the right to silence in NSW has set off another rhetorical joust between civil libertarians and critics of this ''right''.

While one side complains about the loss of liberty, the other claims change is necessary because organised criminals exploit the justice process. But both ignore key empirical and legal realities.

Much has been made of the fact that England introduced this change in 1994. However, it should be understood the change was the result of a sustained police campaign that was about politics, not about the reality of criminal investigation.

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