How the Risk of Police Coercion during Questioning is Addressed in Queensland, Australia

Improperly obtained confessions and admissions during police questioning can be very problematic for the legitimacy and efficacy of the criminal justice system. The risk of confessions and admissions being produced through coercive questioning practices is addressed in a number of ways in Queensland, Australia. Firstly, there is legislation that regulates how police questioning is conducted, including a prohibition on using threats to produce confessions; rights for the suspect to contact another person and have them present during the questioning; and requirements to electronically record questioning. Secondly, there is legislation that requires confessions and admissions to be electronically recorded in order to be admissible in court and allows the exclusion of improperly obtained confessions and admissions. Queensland and Commonwealth legislation on the exclusion of such evidence will be compared to illustrate the differences in how this area is approached in Australia. Thirdly, the reporting and investigating process for alleged corrupt conduct or misconduct during police questioning in Queensland will be outlined in regard to the three organisations that deal with these allegations: the Queensland Police Service, the Crime and Corruption Commission, and the Queensland Human Rights Commission. In conclusion, these three topics will provide a snapshot of how Queensland addresses and minimises the risk of coercive questioning practices being used to produce improperly obtained confessions and admissions.

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