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Admissibility of Evidence Obtained by Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment. Does the European Court of Human Rights Offer a Coherent and Convincing Approach?

In: European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
Author:
Wojciech Jasiński PhD, habilitation in Law, Department of Criminal Procedure, University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland, wojciech.jasinski@uwr.edu.pl

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Abstract

The paper presents and assesses the approach of the ECtHR to admissibility of evidence obtained through torture and inhuman or degrading treatment in the criminal process. The author examines the content of the standard, its justifications and the consistency of the ECtHR's reasoning. The paper refers both to the admissibility of statements and real evidence as well as to primary and derivate evidence obtained in violation of Article 3 echr. The admissibility of evidence obtained by oppressive conduct of private individuals is also analysed. The assessment of the Strasbourg Court’s case law indicates that its approach is quite nuanced and, unfortunately, inconsistent and incoherent. Its main shortcoming is the lack of an in-depth analysis of the rationale for the inadmissibility of evidence obtained by maltreatment and the piecemeal treatment of individual categories of such evidence devoid of attempt to comprehensively address its admissibility in criminal proceedings.

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