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Interrogation and TortureIntegrating Efficacy with Law and Morality$
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Steven J. Barela, Mark Fallon, Gloria Gaggioli, and Jens David Ohlin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190097523

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190097523.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 26 January 2022

Setting Universal Standards for Non-coercive Interviews and Associated Safeguards

Setting Universal Standards for Non-coercive Interviews and Associated Safeguards

(p.535) 20 Setting Universal Standards for Non-coercive Interviews and Associated Safeguards
Interrogation and Torture

Juan E. Méndez

Andra Nicolescu

Oxford University Press

This chapter makes the case for the need to develop a universal set of standards (Universal Protocol) for non-coercive investigative interviewing methods and associated legal and procedural safeguards. The purpose of this instrument will be to assist law enforcement officers and other authorities in carrying out their duties effectively, and in full compliance with fundamental human rights obligations. The Universal Protocol will promote an evidence-based, non-coercive model of investigative interviewing that operationalizes the presumption of innocence and ensures that no person under questioning is subjected to torture, ill-treatment, or coercion, including any forms of violence, duress, or threat. The authors elaborate on the legal, ethical, scientific, and practical arguments for the development of the Universal Protocol. Recognizing that all persons—whether suspects, victims, or witnesses—interviewed by authorities during criminal investigations may be confronted with the entire repressive machinery of society, the authors explain why the development of the Universal Protocol is necessary from the perspective of the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment. They provide an explanation of how the use of coercive questioning techniques leads to false confessions, wasted resources, results in adverse operational consequences for law enforcement, and ultimately gives rise to more crime and insecurity. The chapter then provides an overview of the envisioned scope and substance of the Universal Protocol, which is expected to (1) elaborate on an evidence-, rapport-based, and empirically-founded investigative interviewing model that centers on the pursuit of truth (as opposed to the pursuit of confessions); and (2) enumerate a set of fundamental legal procedural safeguards designed to protect the physical and mental integrity of all persons during questioning. The authors conclude by discussing the international expert-driven process that is underway to develop the Universal Protocol, and reflect on strategic and substantive progress achieved to date. A call for the support of the development, endorsement, and implementation of the Universal Protocol is also issued by the authors.

Keywords:   international law, human rights, torture, investigative interviewing, safeguards, United Nations, Special Rapporteur, law enforcement, criminal investigations

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