The admissibility of improperly obtained evidence: The universality of the problem and the diversity of approaches to solving it

Abstract

The article focuses on the issue of acknowledging inadmissible evidence obtained in violation of the law. According to the authors, this issue can be encountered, in one way or another, in any procedural system (both at the national and international levels). In this regard, the authors substantiate the relevance and ambivalence of the issue for the Russian criminal proceedings. Also, the authors use the scientific works of scholars belonging to the Soviet, early post-Soviet and modern periods of the development of Russian criminal proceedings, as well as materials of judicial practice from various years in order to demonstrate the evolution of approaches to the solution of the topic. In order to demonstrate universality of the issue, the authors analyze, in a comparative legal sense, the approaches of leading foreign procedural systems. It is concluded that there is a tendency that foreign legal systems are searching for the recognition criteria of evidence obtained in violation of the law to achieve a balance between the two areas of criminal procedural policy: ‘due process of law’ and ‘crime control’. Usually, the violation of human rights committed in obtaining evidence per se does not entail the finding of such evidence as unacceptable. The authors focus on the same issue, but in the scope of international criminal justice which combines the approaches of both the investigative (inquisitorial) and the accusatory (adversary) criminal procedure traditions. It is indicated that the bodies of international criminal justice (in particular, the International Criminal Court), when forming their position on the issue under consideration, are guided in many respects by the law enforcement practices of international bodies for the protection of human rights (primarily, the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights). The authors conclude that it is possible to use the criteria for the inadmissibility of evidence specified in the Rome Statute and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights for Russian criminal proceedings due to the transitional nature of the criteria.

Keywords:

evidence, criminal proceedings, comparative research, independent source doctrine, inevitable discovery doctrine, inadmissible evidence, due process of law, crime control, inquisitorial tradition, adversary tradition

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Author Biographies

Pavel P. Stepanov, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation

PhD in Law, Assistant Professor

Gleb E. Besedin, University of Paris, 2 Panthéon-Assas (University of Paris), Paris, 75005, France; Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation

LL.M in Law

References

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Published
2020-12-03
How to Cite
Stepanov, P. P., & Besedin, G. E. (2020). The admissibility of improperly obtained evidence: The universality of the problem and the diversity of approaches to solving it. Pravovedenie, 63(3), 460-480. https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu25.2019.307
Section
Articles