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You have the right to remain silent. Wait... not anymore

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by b12mick, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Did anyone else notice that NSW is about to remove a persons right to silence. http://www.news.com.au/breaking-new...t-to-silence-law/story-e6frfku9-1226601328430

    @Gabriel and others. Your governments DO NOT have YOUR best interests at heart. Don't be fooled, this won't just be used against the alleged criminals but also against the alleged victims who choose not to answer the police questions.
  2. I feel very very sorry for r a p e victims and people with domestic problems.
  3. I don't feel sorry at all. I get very, very angry about it. There is no excuse. Ever.
  4. We've had plea bargaining for a long time, which is essentially the same thing, but with the carrot instead of the stick.

    If you provide us with information we will cut your sentence, which is exactly the same as saying if you don't give us information we will increase your sentence.

    I think it's all bullshit.
  5. I agree, there is no excuse for domestic violence or r a p e.

    But, I think maybe you miss the point. Many victims of domestic violence and r a p e fear the attacker more than the police. In some cases making a statement to the police results in nothing more than another beating.

    Likewise with victims of gang crime. Who would you fear more, the police or the mates of the bloke(s) you just dobbed in because you no longer have the 'right to remain silent'?

    Be assured this is not a step forward in crime prevention or investigation. It's not a whole lot different from the governments previous attempt to circumvent the rules of evidence.
  6. It's worse than that. This new law has come about because people (witnesses and alleged victims) would not talk to the police and chose to remain silent. WE will no longer have that right.
  7. Yep, it's definitely a further step in the wrong direction. Just pointing out that "the right to remain silent" was gone when ever plea bargaining came in.
  8. That is true. All of it. Laws like this are the result of ongoing frustration from police and prosecutors who cannot get people to turn in violent criminals, so they get away with their crimes.
    Unfortunately it puts people between a rock and a hard place in a lot of situations and the po-po doesn't have the resources to put every witness in the state into protection, let alone guarantee their protection will not be compromised by a dirty cop or a clever, or just observant, gang member ... or even the witness themselves.
    While I would use up a bottle full of genie wishes to drop every r a pist and spouse beater (there are women perpetrators out there as well, just not as many) into a tank of battery acid, laws like this will not help and could even create a culture where crimes are simply not reported lest people be forced to testify.
  9. "There were these two wogs fighting and the fatter wog said to the skinnier wog, "oi bro, you slept with my cousin, ey." And the other one said "nah man, I didn't for shit, ey." The other one goes "I will call in my fully sick boys" and he pulled out a gun and just went chk chk boom"
  10. #10 Ljiljan, Mar 22, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
    I don't think you read the article correctly. They aren't removing the right to silence. In reality, there is no way they can force you to speak. What is changing is if you bring up something in the courtroom that wasn't said under "interrogation", judges and juries are allowed to draw negative inference - which is really just giving them permission do something that has always been done anyway.

    Reality is a testimony will speak for itself. If a person on trial brings up something unmentioned to police in court, it will be judged on the basis of the testimony. If there are gaping holes and a person on trial is clearly trying to contrive an unplausable explanation, the testimony will speak for itself, and a "negative inference" won't be required. If the progression of the testimony is reasonable and logical and doesn't have gaping flaws, it will stand up to question and attemps to draw "negative inference" won't penetrate it.

    When it's all said and done, I'm really not sure what is actually changing. Would be necessary to look at the wording of the legislation to see.
  11. Agreed.
  12. Storm in a teacup. This law merely permits a judge or jury to draw a negative inference if the accused does not mention in police questioning something they later rely on in their defence. It does not REQUIRE the jury to draw a negative inference, it just means they can if they think it's appropriate.

    IMO this law merely reinforces that people should not talk to the police when questioned. Not one word, not ever. Because now, if you say some things and shut up about others, they can draw negative inferences from the things you clam up about.

    Whereas if you say nothing about anything, because you've seen that youtube video explaining why you should never ever talk to the police, you get to explain the reason for your silence in court, and the jury has to consider that when deciding whether it can draw any inference from your silence.

    Bottom line is, if you say nothing and have a good reason for saying nothing, the jury has to draw a very long bow to find any incriminating inference in that.
  13. I was just listening to a police spokesman interviewed about some bikie arrests, saying (and I paraphrase, but not exaggerate). "...we [police] are looking at the laws all the time and working toward changing those that need to be brought into line with our objectives.."

    Since when should the law serve the purposes of the police rather than the other way 'round? What 'objectives' should police have other than enforcing existing laws?
  14. Read up about "coercive hearings" in QLD and the powers of the CMC. I don't know but I imagine the other states have similar bodies with similar powers.
  15. From http://www.nswbar.asn.au/circulars/2012/sep/r2s.pdf

    So it would appear the the NSW Bar Association isn't in favour of this, yet the government proceeds with it.
  16. Rubbish. Plea bargaining is just practical application of game theory.
  17.  Top
  18. Let's draw that very long bow and see where it takes us.
    A LEO asks a rider why he was travelling at 200kmh when, for the sake of argument, he was doing nothing of the sort. The rider says nothing - as many would in response to such a leading question.
    Would the prosecution be entitled to ask the court to see that silence as an admission of guilt? If not, why not?
  19. Good point.

    Smart crims use loopholes in the law to go about their business; for example, importing gun parts, a piece at a time, to get around a prohibition on importing guns. Informing lawmakers about these kind of tricks falls under the ambit of law enforcement.