Hi, I need help with essay on Critically consider whether the current law on spousal compellability is justifiable. Paper must be at least 2250 words. Please, no plagiarized work!
law and statute and has created controversy with regard whether it remains justifiable in the contemporary societal framework, particularly in light of the complex nature of familial relationships. For example, in cases involving violence it doesn’t always follow that a spouse will be willing witness and if children are involved in the family set up,
the compellability principles could create negative repercussions for the witness in the long term3. The focus of this paper is to critically evaluate whether the current law on spousal compellability is justifiable. To this end, this paper will firstly consider the common law and statutory rules, followed by a discussion of proposals for reform on the spousal compellability rule with specific reference to the Scottish recommendations to amend the law on the compellability of spousal witnesses by analogy to the position in England and Wales.
With regard to the definition of spouse under the compellability rules, under section 84(1) of the Civil Partnership Act 20044, the provisions relating to spousal compellability under section 80 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 19845 (PACE) apply equally to a civil partner of the defendant in addition to a spouse. Therefore both civil partners and spouse are covered by the compellability provisions. Additionally, the law distinguishes between civil and criminal cases6. For example, in civil cases spouses must be competent and compellable7however different considerations apply in criminal cases8.
However, the common law position has often been criticised for being unsatisfactory and Murphy comments that “there had always been felt a slight natural repugnance at the thought of spouses giving evidenced against each other”9 on grounds of risks of perjury and the risks to the validity and credibility of any such evidence given10. This sentiment is further reflected by the dissenting speech of Lord Edmund Davies in Hoskyn v Commissioner of the Police for the