Publication Date

Fall 1990

Document Type



The police interrogation process has been a subject of controversy in both Great Britain and the United States. The debate has focused on how to regulate the police and thereby balance the public interest in crime control against the individual interest in freedom from state coercion. In the U.S regulation of the police interrogation process has largely been the result of U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of the self-incrimination privilege of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In contrast, in Great Britain police interrogation controls have been enacted by Parliament in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE), supplemented by a Code of Practice for the Detention, Treatment and Questioning of Persons by the Police developed by the British Home Office. This article provides an overview of Great Britain's experience with legislating confession law controls by examining the content and impact of both PACE and the Home Office Interrogation Code of Practice and concludes by suggesting that the statutory and regulatory framework of the British experience can serve as a model for similar reform in the United States.

Publication Title

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform