Dock statements - 1974

Letter to press, March 1974.

'The New South Wales Government's proposal to abolish the longstanding right of people accused of serious crimes to make statements from the dock in their defence without having to subject themselves to cross-examination in the witness box deserves closer public scrutiny than it has so far had. The Council for Civil Liberties believes that the present right give proper protection to many inarticulate, unprepossessing or even untruthful people who are in fact innocent of crimes charged against them. The virtue of such protection more than outweighs the vice that may be done should any guilty person escape through use of this right'.

N.B. This Government proposal was subsequently defeated.