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The Human Right To Remain Silent

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Chapter Summary

The right to remain silent is closely related to the principle that in criminal proceedings and proceedings that are equivalent to them a person shall not be compelled to incriminate himself or herself. With sudden progress in the internationalisation of human rights, the prohibition of self-incrimination was enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), adopted by the UN General Assembly on 16 December 1966. The most delicate issues surrounding the application of Article 6 have been in situations where a party has claimed their right to remain silent in areas where a possible criminal charge was only looming on the horizon or where it was subjectively perceived to exist by a person fearful of self-incrimination because of providing information requested by the state authorities under the threat of a fine or another penalty. One of the most complicated cases was that of Saunders v. United Kingdom.

Keywords: human rights; ICCPR; right to remain silent



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