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Self-Incrimination
sicktime2
post Mon, 24 Oct 2005 - 21:00
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Given that signing the NIP amounts to a confession and signing it is virtually forced upon you by intimidation, if not law, has anyone taken this matter up as a human rights issue - i.e. challenging the law requiring a signature without any form of rights being read.  Where is EU law on this subject?  In the US this would almost certainly seem to be illegal - surely it must be in the EU too?  Are there any cases currently going on pursuing this angle?

Ian
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post Mon, 24 Oct 2005 - 21:00
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andy_foster
post Mon, 24 Oct 2005 - 21:20
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That'd be a good idea...


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Andy

"Whatever the intention of Parliament was, or was not, the law is quite clear." - The Rookie
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Quattro
post Mon, 24 Oct 2005 - 21:30
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QUOTE (andy_foster)
That'd be a good idea...


laugh.gif  :lol:  :lol:

My NIP asked the question, "Were you the driver at the time of the offence."

I wrote to the scamerati and said that I would not sign it as this was a confession. I then asked if I could insert the word, "alleged" into it and then I would sign it.

They wrote back and stated that the offence was not alleged, but was fact!

Blimey, I thought, I have been tried and found guilty already!
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sicktime2
post Tue, 25 Oct 2005 - 13:18
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In the US, for a confession to be admissible it must be voluntary - I would be very shocked if an involuntary confession could be legal in the EU.  Worth investigating!
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Lance
post Tue, 25 Oct 2005 - 15:25
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Andy is being sarcastic. Cases are indeed going to the European Court of Human Rights on this issue.

The law is slightly different here than in the US. There, as I understand it, you don't have to say anything that may incriminate you.

European self-incrimination law is not as simple as that. In order to have a right to silence, you first have to be suspected of an offence. Otherwise you can be compelled to give information - even if it incriminates you in an offence of which the authorities did not suspect your involvement. But crucially, any compelled information cannot be used against you later in court.

Both these aspects are in train. In some cases the applicant is saying that they were a suspect, and therefore had a right to silence. The question is whether or not the recipient of an NIP is always a suspect. I don't want to get into it here in detail, but the NIP usually does not make an allegation specifically against the recipient, but against the (potentially unknown) driver. The court will have to be satisfied that the recipient of an NIP is a suspect before they agree that he had a right to silence.

Other cases being appealed centre of applicants who have had their compulsorily-provided info used against them in court. This appears to go completely against the ECHR case law.

In the UK there is a particularly evil case, Brown v Stott, which basically justifies taking away these two rights against self-incrimination on the basis that it is proportionate to the objective of road safety. Therefore this case must be overturned by a higher court, or distinguished, to restore these rights to the motorist.

If you'd like to learn more, and contribute to the process, I suggest you join the members' area via the link below.


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Bob_Sprocket
post Tue, 25 Oct 2005 - 17:37
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QUOTE (Lance)
Andy is being sarcastic.


Never! laugh.gif  :lol:  :lol:

QUOTE (Lance)
Both these aspects are in train. In some cases the applicant is saying that they were a suspect, and therefore had a right to silence. The question is whether or not the recipient of an NIP is always a suspect. I don't want to get into it here in detail, but the NIP usually does not make an allegation specifically against the recipient, but against the (potentially unknown) driver. The court will have to be satisfied that the recipient of an NIP is a suspect before they agree that he had a right to silence.


A conditional offer of fixed penalty may only be sent to the "alleged offender" so when you receive a combined NIP/COFP/s172 notice you are not only a suspect but also subject to a direct allegation that you, a named person, was the offender.

This is a clear and direct breach of article 6 and was not coverd by Brown v Stott or DPP v Wilson or AFAIK any of the other authorities in this area of law.

s75 and s76 RTOA 1988 provide the law on conditional offers of fixed penalty. They state certain things which must be stated in the COFP. A key one of these is the fact that proceedings cannot be instigated against you for the period of 28 days or longer. If it does not state this you are effectively charged with the offence and have the right to silence. Many combined forms neglect to make this essential statement.

I would urge everyone interested to go and have a read of this case and then join the members forum for a more in depth discussion.

Best wishes

Bob
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sicktime2
post Tue, 25 Oct 2005 - 17:56
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QUOTE (Bob_Sprocket)
A conditional offer of fixed penalty may only be sent to the "alleged offender" so when you receive a combined NIP/COFP/s172 notice you are not only a suspect but also subject to a direct allegation that you, a named person, was the offender.


What's a COFP?

Will enjoy reading the Shannon v. UK case!

Ian
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Blackbird
post Tue, 25 Oct 2005 - 19:22
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QUOTE
What's a COFP?
Conditional Offer Fixed Penalty

Regards


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The Rookie
post Wed, 26 Oct 2005 - 05:22
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And as far as I'm aware its never sent wih he NIP but as a result of the NIP responce

Simon
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andy_foster
post Wed, 26 Oct 2005 - 06:01
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QUOTE (The Rookie)
And as far as I'm aware its never sent wih he NIP but as a result of the NIP responce


I believe that Dorset, Humberside and Kent send out combined NIP/s.172/COFP notices.


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Andy

"Whatever the intention of Parliament was, or was not, the law is quite clear." - The Rookie
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mc9
post Wed, 26 Oct 2005 - 08:46
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Lance said: "European self-incrimination law is not as simple as that. In order to have a right to silence, you first have to be suspected of an offence."

Therefore, I suggest that the recipient of a NIP should always write to the scammers something similar to: "I make no admission of guilt, but it is possible that I was the driver at the time of the alleged offence. Please send the photographic evidence to help me identify the driver...". Then wait for the reminder NIP to arrive.

This establishes the driver's status as a suspect and allows him to:
-- use the Witness Statement with the proper suspect status as required by PACE
-- invoke the right to silence if needed.

This approach has the added benefit of increasing the scammers workload leading to more mistakes...

MC9
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