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The admissibility of polygraph evidence in English criminal proceedings

Vathek Publishing
Publication Date
  • M100 Law By Area
  • Law


The belief that polygraph evidence is inadmissible in English criminal proceedings has as its basis a variety of common law exclusionary evidential rules. In reality, this view is backed up by very little English case law. Further, several of the relevant common law rules have been modified by statute, have become obsolescent or, dependent upon circumstances, may not always exclude polygraph. Moreover, it is necessary to distinguish expert evidence based on the pass-fail results of a polygraph examination (which, if admissible at all, would appear only to be admissible in very limited circumstances) from evidence of statements made by the subject of the polygraph examination (which may be admissible in a wider variety of circumstances).

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