The right to silence shouldn’t be conditional

The Herald reports:

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft has called for the right to silence to be abolished, saying that “the fact you might incriminate yourself isn’t a reason for not talking”.

Becroft’s comments come in the wake of the brutal assault on a four-year-old in Hawke’s Bay.

Police say the boy, who is in a stable condition at Starship children’s hospital, suffered a sustained beating – possibly over days – at a Flaxmere address in late January and will most likely suffer from brain damage.

Speaking to Newshub this morning, Becroft said: “I think [the right to silence] needs to be abolished or amended.”

My heart agrees with Judge Becroft but my head says if you abolish it for child abusers, then it will end up being abolished for other charges also. So I’m against a law change, and sad to see National backing one.

I wonder if there is a halfway house though such as you have the right not to incriminate yourself for criminal proceedings, but you may not be allowed to raise children if you are a witness to and refuse to testify?

Comments (82)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment

%d bloggers like this: