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Don't talk to cops.

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by CrayolaS7, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. #1 CrayolaS7, Jun 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Video about why you shouldn't talk to cops. It's based in the USA (where if anything they have more rights in regards to these issues than we do) so talks a lot about the fifth amendment which you may have hear of. This is the right to no incriminate yourself. While we don't have any rights in the constitution it is a well established right in common law, called the right to silence.

    "it is broadly recognised by State and Federal Crimes Acts and Codes and is regarded by the courts as an important common law right. In general, criminal suspects in Australia have the right to refuse to answer questions posed to them by police before trial and to refuse to give evidence at trial. As a general rule judges cannot direct juries to draw adverse inferences from a defendant's silence (Petty v R) but there are exceptions to this rule, most notably in cases which rely entirely on circumstantial evidence which it is only possible for the defendant to testify about (Weissensteiner v ). The right does not apply to corporations (EPA v Caltex)."

    The bit I've bolded just means that invoking your right to silence can not be held against you by the jury/magistrate.

  2. I think that's been around NR before. Very useful.

    This is the April 2010 Victorian Legal Aid brochure on police powers: http://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/upload/cl.police_powers.pdf Possibly slightly out of date given the additional stop and search powers that the previous gov increased - pretty useful read.
  3. Ooh, I don't think so.

    The police try this one on every election just in the vague hope they might eventually get it.

    They are a broken record and neither side of politics pays them anything more than lip service on such issues, otherwise we would have had 6'o'clock curfews years ago.

  4. #7 kneedragon, Jun 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    I don't mean to be pedantic, although the law usually is, but what that section says is that the judge can not direct the jury that they should take your silence as an admission. It doesn't say anything about silence cannot be held against you by the judge or the jury. Very different meaning.
  5. he talks too fast
  6. Nope, an adverse inference means that you refused because you were guilty. NSW legislation is VERY clear about this:

    In criminal trials in New South Wales, the judge or jury is prohibited from drawing inferences which are unfavourable to the defendant, including inferences about the defendant’s guilt or credibility as a witness, where he or she does not answer police questions. Section 89 of the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) provides that an inference unfavourable to a party must not be drawn from evidence that the party failed or refused to answer questions put in the course of official questioning.

    THis basically tells you everything but it is very law, has legislation and cases to back it up.


    Here's the relevant act:
    The Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) s 20

    Comment on failure to give evidence:
    (1) This section applies only in a criminal proceeding for an indictable offence.
    (2) The judge or any party (other than the prosecutor) may comment on a failure of the defendant to give evidence. However, unless the comment is made by another defendant in the proceeding, the comment must not suggest that the defendant failed to give evidence because the defendant was, or believed that he or she was, guilty of the offence concerned.
    (5) If:
    (a) 2 or more persons are being tried together for an indictable offence; and
    (b) comment is made by any of those persons on the failure of any of those persons to give evidence,​

    The judge may, in addition to commenting on the failure to give evidence, comment on any comment of a kind referred to in paragraph (b).
  7. Don't forget this bit.
  8. That section was referring to when you are being charged with a criminal offence, yes. There are similar sections saying the same thing for not talking to the police beforehand, and in that case it doesn't have to be indictable.