Phone tapping should be used as evidence in court
The government has said that in certain circumstances, phone tapping should be used as evidence in court, especially for fraud or terrorist cases. Is this beneficial? Would it increase our ability to accurately prosecute criminals, or would it undermine our already questionable rights?
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Phone tapping evidence being used in court works in France and Australia
These two countries already use phone tapping substantially as evidence, and their human rights record in terms of convictions and civil rights in the courtroom are relatively good. They have similar legal systems to the UK, so if it works there it is likely to work in the UK, too.
Just because other nations are willing to contravene the human rights of their citizens does not mean that the UK should follow suit. The fact that is has been used elsewhere does not justify the principle of phone tapping.
Phone tapping should not include any calls to lawyers
It is essential, that even if phone calls to lawyers can be used to condemn criminals, they are not used, or even recorded. This is essential to protect the basic rights people have. It would also preserve the value of legal advice, which is key to any legal system. This, however, should only be the case if the lawyer is credible and is not complicit in the crime.
The justice system should protect innocents, not criminals
If phone tapping means that more guilty people will be convicted, thus making the country safer for innocent people, then it should be used. There is already an incredibly low conviction rate for many crimes including rape, so the system needs to be toughened up.
Suspects are innocent until proven guilty; that is a fundamental principle of our legal system. If phone tapping becomes admissable evidence in a court of law then both innocent and guilty people will be subject to this intrusion into their privacy.
This kind of evidence is unlikely to aid the prosecution of crimes like rape which are notoriously difficult to prove. It is unlikely that a rapist will be caught out confessing to his crime through a phone tap.
Phone tapping doesn't undermine basic rights people have
People still have basic rights to privacy, unless they're heavily suspected of crimes. There is nothing to suggest that all people will have their phone tapped; presumably the government will only use their resources when there is a real threat to justice or the country's safety.
Such an activity completely undermines our rights to privacy. It is essential that if we live in a democracy, in the 21st Century, we continue to uphold the basic principles that make our country so great, and free. Unless we fight against governments interfering with phone tapping and surveillance, we will not be doing this. What's more, once particular practises are accepted, it is easier for the government to implement even more surveillance on the nation. We are all INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!! Plus privacy is one of the fundamental objects of our justice system. If they take away our privacy what are they going to start taking next? Everybody wants a criminal to be caught, but what happens if they bring about something else?
Phone tapping will be inefficient
The amount of money phone tapping costs to install, monitor, and then use in court is not acceptable compared to the good it will actually do to society. In the majority of cases where it will be used, there will be evidence strongly against the criminal anyway, and it is also likely to be used in bureaucratic or fraudulent cases. Surely money should be better spent on getting violent criminals off the streets, or improving education, rather than dealing with this aspect of crime?
Phone tapping already happens so the money is still being spent. At the moment the only difference is that it can't be used in court.
Securities we have in the UK are ignored
It is essential that if we live in a democracy, in the 21st Century, we continue to uphold the basic principles that make our country so great, and free. Such an activity completely undermines our rights to privacy. Unless we fight against governments interfering with phone tapping and surveillance, we will not be doing this. What's more, once particular practises are accepted, it is easier for the government to implement even more surveillance on the nation.
Such evidence is by definition prejudicial
Court’s have a duty under section 78 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act to exclude evidence that is unduly prejudicial to the defendant. This evidence is by definition prejudicial; a defendant cannot adduce evidence to prove or counteract recorded telephone conversations - all they can do is argue that the evidence has been presented out of context by the prosecution. This is a weak line of defence and will look very weak in front of a jury.
phone tapping shouldnt be used as in evidence in court, if anyone produces this evidence they should be prosecuted for invading the persons privacy. all this fuss thats going on at the moment about phone hacking isnt something new . the chief constable said if it was true he would look into it. well i can tell you now the police in the miners strike and M I 5 were all phone tapping, thats why thatcher knew most of what went on in with the pickets and where the striking miners were heading next, they listened in to conversations and got away with it, you would think they were criminals the way they were treated. there is too many sneaks in this country to start with without tapping phones.
What do you think?