In R. v. Oickle, the Supreme Court of Canada expressly stated that the Canadian confessions rule "should recognize which interrogation techniques commonly produce false confessions so as to avoid miscarriages of justice." As a result, the Court reformulated the traditional confessions rule in an attempt to better protect against false confessions. An obvious question is whether the Court succeeded in attaining this goal. An examination of the reformulated rule indicates that, viewed in the abstract and measured against the current state of knowledge on false confessions, the modern rule does offer considerable protection to innocent persons, but it also has some significant shortcomings. Additional reforms are necessary to further reduce the risk of false confessions. These reforms should include greater judicial recognition of the individual risk factors associated with false confessions, mandatory videotaping of interrogation, and direct regulation of particular interrogation tactics. The Court should also consider incorporating a post-confession reliability analysis into the modern confessions rule.
Dale R. Ives,
Preventing False Confessions: Is Oickle Up to the Task?,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol44/iss3/6