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Part Three The Specific Rights of the Defence, Ch.13 The Privilege Against Self-incrimination

From: Human Rights in Criminal Proceedings

Stefan Trechsel

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 June 2024

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The privilege against self-incrimination is certainly one of the most complex guarantees in the entire body of fundamental rights applicable in the context of criminal proceedings. However, such guarantee is absent in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The term ‘privilege’, or ‘privilege against self-incrimination’, refers to the situation of someone who enjoys enhanced protection. To simplify the linguistic expression, the term ‘privilege’ is applied unless the discussion focuses more precisely on a specific aspect of the guarantee. This chapter discusses the origins and character of the gurantee related to the privilege against self-incrimination, the right to silence and the privilege against self-incrimination, right to silence and freedom of expression, direct and indirect effects of the guarantee, the rationale and scope of the guarantee, the direct effect of the privilege, the right to remain silent, the right not to hand over documents, and exceptions.

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