The Right to Confront One’s Accusers: Did Sir Walter Raleigh Die for Nothing?

17 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2019

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

The right to confront one's accusers is granted widely by international and European human rights conventions, as well as by the US Constitution's 6th Amendment, though not recognised, at least explicitly, by Singapore law. This article argues for a non-instrumental view of that right, ie one not solely designed by reference to the hearsay rule, enlisting the remarkable trial of SirWalter Raleigh, in 1603, for treason to support the case, in principle, for such a view being taken. The article goes on to consider the confrontation right in three jurisdictions, namely the US, the European Court of Human Rights and England, where very different views of it have been taken. It then raises the possibility that some recent reforms to Singapore law entail confrontation issues. It concludes that, whatever else is done about the right to confrontation, it should, just like other human rights, be taken seriously.

Suggested Citation

Mirfield, Peter, The Right to Confront One’s Accusers: Did Sir Walter Raleigh Die for Nothing? (2019). Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, Sep. 2019, pp 423-439, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3508968

Peter Mirfield (Contact Author)

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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