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Fitness to plead: implications from case-law arising from the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

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The concept of fitness to plead constitutes a legal cornerstone in ensuring that individuals receive a fair trial. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 has abolished the defendant's right to silence both within police interviews and in court, except where the defendant is judged to have a mental or physical condition that makes it undesirable that he or she gives evidence in his or her own defence. A case is described where the inability to give evidence on the basis of a mental condition has been incorporated into the criteria for fitness to plead. The wide-ranging legal and clinical implications of this are discussed.
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Keywords: CASE-LAW; CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC ORDER ACT (1994); FITNESS TO PLEAD; RIGHT TO SILENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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