Director of Public Prosecutions v Ping Lin: PC 1976

The Board was asked whether a statement by the defendant was shown to be voluntary.
Held: A trial Judge faced by the problem should approach the task in a common sense way and should ask himself whether the prosecution had proved that the contested statement was voluntary in the sense that it was not obtained by fear of prejudice or hope of advantage excited or held out by a person in authority. It is not necessary, before a statement is held to be inadmissible because not shown to have been voluntary, that it should be thought or held that there was impropriety in the conduct of the person to whom the statement was made. What has to be considered is whether a statement is shown to have been voluntary rather than one brought about in one of the ways referred to.
The Committee described the courts abhorrence of the admission of evidence obtained by oppression: ‘By the judiciary, though it ought not to be extended, it must by no means be whittled down. It bears, it is true, all the marks of its origin at a time when the savage code of the eighteenth century was in full force. At that time almost every serious crime was punishable by death or transportation. The law enforcement officers formed no disciplined police force and were not subject to effective control by the central government, watch committees or an inspectorate. There was no legal aid. There was no system of appeal. To crown it all the accused was unable to give evidence on his own behalf and was therefore largely at the mercy of any evidence, either perjured or oppressively obtained, that might be brought against him. The judiciary were therefore compelled to devise artificial rules designed to protect him against dangers now avoided by other and more rational means. Nevertheless, the rule has survived into the twentieth century, not only unmodified but developed, and only Parliament can modify it now from the form in which it was given classical expression by Lord Sumner.’

Lord Hailsham of St Marylebone, Lord Wilberforce, Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest
[1976] AC 574
CitedIbrahim v The King PC 6-Mar-1914
(Hong Kong) The defendant was an Afghan subject with the British Army in Hong Kong. He was accused of murder. Having accepted the protection of the British Armed forces, he became subject to their laws. In custody, he was asked about the offence by . .

Cited by:
CitedA, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, Mahmoud Abu Rideh Jamal Ajouaou v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 11-Aug-2004
The claimants had each been detained without trial for more than two years, being held as suspected terrorists. They were free leave to return to their own countries, but they feared for their lives if returned. They complained that the evidence . .
CitedA and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No 2) HL 8-Dec-2005
The applicants had been detained following the issue of certificates issued by the respondent that they posed a terrorist threat. They challenged the decisions of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission saying that evidence underlying the . .
ExplainedRegina v Rennie CACD 1982
In the course of an interrogation, the detective sergeant, after telling the appellant the gist of the information already possessed by the police, said ‘Do me a favour, this was a joint operation by your family to defraud the bank, wasn’t it?’ and . .
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: 04 December 2021; Ref: scu.199966