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Miscarriages Of Justice Originating From Disclosure Deficiencies In Criminal Cases

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Chapter Summary

This chapter delves more deeply into one of the most fundamental causes of miscarriages of justice in international criminal cases, namely failure on the part of police and/or prosecution to timely, adequately, and fairly disclose potentially exculpatory evidence to the judge, juries, and defense. Concealment of evidence favorable to the defense is one of the main causes of wrongful convictions. The Court of Appeal ruling inheres an important notion, which goes to the heart of the relationship between miscarriages of justice and disclosure of evidence, i.e., the preservation of the principle of equality of arms. When one perceives international and national criminal law principally as an instrument to protect society against international criminality, the scope of disclosure obligation will be different compared to the perception of international criminal law as primarily an instrument to protect the rights of individuals against abusive behavior of governments in investigating and prosecuting crimes.

Keywords: disclosure obligation; international criminal cases; miscarriages of justice



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