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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Witnesses

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Old 11-11-2016, 01:56 PM
Barrister Barrister is offline
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Default Right to testify

We all know about the right against self-incrimination. We also know there was a period when people could not testify on their own behalf. What I am trying to discover is when this rule was changed and how. Also, I would like to know when cross-examination of a defendant was permitted. All help will be appreciated.
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Old 11-11-2016, 02:32 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrister View Post
We all know about the right against self-incrimination. We also know there was a period when people could not testify on their own behalf. What I am trying to discover is when this rule was changed and how. Also, I would like to know when cross-examination of a defendant was permitted. All help will be appreciated.

Do you mean in England?

And

When you ask about Cross examination of the defendant being allowed, I'm not sure what you mean. Up to very recent years a defendant in a Criminal Trial could give an unsworn "Dick Statement" on which he couldn't be cross examined, most jurisdictions have abolished these and now S/he must either shut up, or give sworn testimony and be subject to cross examination, so I can't think of a time in recent jurisprudence when there wasn't the opportunity for a defendant (or any other witness) who gave sworn testimony to be cross examined.
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:52 PM
Mr Lucky Mr Lucky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrister View Post
We all know about the right against self-incrimination. We also know there was a period when people could not testify on their own behalf. What I am trying to discover is when this rule was changed and how. Also, I would like to know when cross-examination of a defendant was permitted. All help will be appreciated.
Historically it depends on what type of charge the defendant was facing;- misdemeanour, felony or treason and the issue could be further complicated by which branch of law and which type of court was being used.

If you're referring to time around the ripper murders and referring to felony, the full use of defence council was after 1836 ( second report of the criminal law commission) and allowing the defendant to testify under oath was the Criminal Evidence Act 1898.
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