Police interviews in the judicial process

Police interviews as evidence

Authored by: Kate Haworth

The Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics

Print publication date:  March  2010
Online publication date:  March  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415463096
eBook ISBN: 9780203855607
Adobe ISBN: 9781136998737


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Police–suspect interview discourse has a vital function in the England and Wales (E&W) criminal justice process. For the police themselves, the formal interview is a key part of any investigation into a criminal offence. The interview later goes on to have a significant further function as a piece of evidence in itself, exhibited and presented in court as part of the prosecution case. Words spoken during the interview thus have a dual context, being produced in both interview room and courtroom, and a correlating dual function, being both investigative and evidential. Yet these contexts and functions are very different, and perhaps even conflicting, as we shall see.

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