Section Withdrawn, Legal Reforms Pass Senate

July 16, 2015

Following yesterday’s [July 15] debate in the Senate which saw the legal reforms bills pass, the Centre For Justice said they were “very pleased that Government has withdrawn the provisions relating to the possibility of unfavourable inferences being drawn from an accused’s silence at the police station at trial.”

Venous Memari, Managing Director of the Centre for Justice, said: “We commend Government for listening to the objections and concerns that have been expressed by various professional bodies and groups with respect to the constitutional rights of an accused.

“We are disappointed that Government did not withdraw the provisions requiring a defendant to serve a statement on the prosecutor and the court within 28 days of his arraignment [if he is going to give evidence at trial] failing which the “court may direct the jury to draw inferences as appear proper in deciding whether the accused person is guilty of the offence charged” although a defendant can’t be convicted of an offence solely on the basis of any such inference.

“We are curious as to why Government did not withdraw the latter provision. No doubt, the constitutionality of this provision will be decided by the courts in due course.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. watchmen says:

    Yes – tyranny adverted for now…at least with this example. Now on to the municipalities act…

  2. Onion juice says:

    So what about the silence of the U.B.P accusations.

  3. Sam says:

    I would like to thank the Centre for Justice for their work on this. I think their criticism of the bill was spot on.