International Journal of Speech Language and the Law, Vol 9, No 2 (2002)

The suspect's own words: The treatment of written statements in Dutch courtrooms

Martha L. Komter
Issued Date: 5 Mar 2007

Abstract


In Dutch trials, suspects are confronted with written statements they made to the police and the investigating judge, earlier in the criminal law process, as recorded in the case files. These statements are supposed to be written down as far as possible in the suspect’s own words, but they are in fact the police officer’s written versions of what was said in the interrogating room. They are simultaneously reports of previous talks held in the police interrogating room and part of the interaction in the courtroom, both of which are conducted for a different purpose. Thus, suspects are held accountable for what they supposedly told the police, and if they argue with this, judges can rebut their protests by pointing out that they themselves have told this to the police.

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DOI: 10.1558/sll.2002.9.2.168

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