added the requirement that a confession has not been obtained by oppression or

Added the requirement that a confession has not been

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added the requirement that a confession has not been obtained by oppression or deception. What constitutes oppression will vary according to the circumstances of the case and the offender. Oppression has been defined by Justice Sachs in R v Priestly as words or conduct which tends to sap and has sapped that free will which must exist before a confession is voluntary. This definition was referred to in the English Court of Appeal decision R v Prager (No 2), in which Lord Justice Edmund Davies, quoting Lord MacDermott’s address to the Bentham Club in 1968, stated that oppression includes: ‘… questioning which by its nature, duration or other attendant circumstances (including the fact of custody) excites hopes (such as hope of release) or fears, or so affects the mind of the subject that his will crumbles and he speaks when otherwise he would have stayed silent’. The procedure on the voir dire is as follows: (i) The Prosecution witness produces the confession statement, which will be marked as a provisional exhibit, and the witness leaves the Court; (ii) Defence counsel states the objections made to the admissibility of the statement, which are recorded by the Court, and the Prosecution witness returns to the witness box; (iii) The Court states that a voir dire will be held; (iv) The Prosecution witness gives evidence in chief on the special issue only; (v) Defence counsel cross examines the witness on the special issue only; (vi) The remaining Prosecution witnesses are called and examined on the special issue only; (vii) A no case submission on the special issue may be made; (viii) The accused may give evidence/call defence witnesses on the special issue only and cross examination is also limited to the special issue only; (ix) The judge/magistrate hears submissions and rules on the special issue (defence counsel has the last word). If the statement is admitted into evidence, it becomes an exhibit and if it is not admitted it is returned to the prosecutor; (x) The Prosecution calls its witnesses on the general issue; (xi) The Prosecution closes its case and the defence is invited to make a no case submission; (xii) The Court rules on the no case submission and, if there is a case to answer, the defence call the accused/witnesses on the general issue. Even where the statement has been ruled admissible, the defence may deny its truthfulness. In the Magistrates’ courts and the District Court, the magistrate or judge will determine both a challenge to the admissibility of the evidence (the special issue) and the guilt or innocence of the accused (the general issue), so the voir dire may occur either before or during the trial with less inconvenience. If the alternative procedure is used, the evidence as to whether the evidence on the special issue (admissibility) and the evidence on the general issue (guilt or innocence) is led from the Prosecution witnesses all at the same time. There is no separate mini hearing on the admissibility evidence alone.
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