By Doreen J McBarnet
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S. 5I2). At the level of practice there is no doubt that prosecutors do act out the normal advocate's role of arguing a one-sided case: the examples throughout this book are readily supported officially by the Fisher Report on the Confait case, in which three youths-two of whom were mentally subnormal-were convicted of murder on the basis of impossible confessions-impossible, because it was subsequently proved that Confait could not possibly have died as late as the confessions alleged. But ambiguities over the time of death were filtered out by the police and prosecution in constructing and presenting their case.
What also requires investigation is why they are easy not just to carry out but to sustain in law. PROCESSING MARGINAL OFFENCES 3 The rhetoric of legality prohibits arbitrary arrest, and in accord with this any arrest is accountable. But of course it is accountable only if it is challenged, and, as Renton and Brown (I972) point out in discussing arrest without warrant, 'it is not often challenged' (p. 28). Given the methods available for challenging an arrest, this is hardly surprising. The opportunities are limited: one may challenge the arrest in the course of a trial, one may take out a civil action or POLICE POWERS AND THE PRODUCTION OF EVIDENCE 29 one may lodge a complaint against the police under the 1964 Police Act.
No. They didn't get in. But you are sure they were trying to get in? The behaviour of the boys left me in no doubt that they were trying to enter the van. Indeed statutory offences involving intent need not even specify POLICE POWERS AND THE PRODUCTION OF EVIDENCE 33 what the accused was intending to do. According to Phillips v. Heatly ( 1964): where an accused person is charged under an Act making it an offence to loiter with intent to, or to be found about to, commit an arrestable offence ...
Conviction: Law, the State and the Construction of Justice by Doreen J McBarnet