Regina v Prager: CACD 1972

The judge’s discretion to exclude a statement on the ground that its admission would be unfair is a matter of degree, but the first and principal decision is whether the prosecution has proved that it was made voluntarily. The court discussed what would be ‘oppressive’ in questioning by the police, and adopted part of a speech given by Lord MacDermotte: ‘questioning which by its nature, duration or other circumstances (including the fact of custody) excites hopes (such as the hope of release) or fears, or so affects the mind of the subject that his will crumbles and he speaks when otherwise he would have stayed silent.’ and ‘what may be oppressive to one or someone inexperience in the ways of the world may turn out not to be oppressive when one finds that accused person is of tough character and an experienced man of the world.’
Edmund Davies LJ said: ‘As we have already indicated, the criticism directed in the present case against the police is that their interrogation constituted ‘oppression’. This word appeared for the first time in the Judges’ Rules of 1964, and it closely followed the observation of the Lord Chief Justice (Lord Parker) in Callis v. Gunn (1963) 48 Cr. App. R. 36 at page 40 condemning confessions ‘obtained in an oppressive manner’.’


Edmund Davies LJ


(1972) 56 Cr App R 151, [1972] 1 WLR 260, [1972] 1 All ER 1114


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Mushtaq HL 21-Apr-2005
The defendant was convicted of fraud charges. He sought to have excluded statements made in interview on the basis that they had been obtained by oppressive behaviour by the police. His wife was very seriously ill in hospital and he had made the . .
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: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.224428