Callis v Gunn: CCA 1964

Evidence obtained by false representations, threats and bribes by the police may be excluded at the discretion of the judge. For voluntariness to be satisfactorily proved, proof must be provided to the standard of beyond reasonable doubt.
Lord Parker of Waddington LCJ said: ‘(It is) a fundamental principle of law that no answer to a question and no statement is admissible unless it is shown by the prosecution not to have been obtained in an oppressive manner and to have been voluntary in the sense that it has not been obtained by threats or inducements.’ and ‘[A]s is well known, in every criminal case a judge has a discretion to disallow evidence, even if in law relevant and therefore admissible, if admissibility would operate unfairly against a defendant. I would add that in considering whether admissibility would operate unfairly against a defendant one would certainly consider whether it had been obtained in an oppressive manner by force or against the wishes of an accused person. That is the general principle.’


Lord Parker of Waddington LCJ


[1964] 1 QB 495, (1963) 48 Cr App R 36, [1963] 3 WLR 931

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Sang HL 25-Jul-1979
The defendant appealed against an unsuccessful application to exclude evidence where it was claimed there had been incitement by an agent provocateur.
Held: The appeal failed. There is no defence of entrapment in English law. All evidence . .
CitedRegina v Fulling CACD 1987
It was alleged that evidence had been obtained by police oppression. She had at first refused to answer questions, but an officer talked to her during a break between interviews, telling her that her lover had been having an affair. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Practice

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.250468