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International Commentary on Evidence

Editor-in-Chief: Singh, Charanjit

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Confrontation and Compulsory Process: U.S. and European Approaches Compared

William E. O'Brian Jr1

1University of Warwick

Citation Information: International Commentary on Evidence. Volume 9, Issue 2, ISSN (Online) 1554-4567, DOI: 10.2202/1554-4567.1118, January 2012

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This paper discusses the relationship between the English hearsay rule and the principles governing the right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. While the provisions serve similar purposes, they do not always produce the same result. Two sorts of cases are discussed: cases where the hearsay rule admits evidence that should be excluded because it violates the defendant’s right to examine or have examined the witnesses against him, and cases where the hearsay rule excludes evidence that should be admitted to protect the defendant’s right to a fair trial. The treatment of these cases is contrasted to the treatment of similar cases under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Keywords: confrontation; compulsory process; hearsay

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