Dear readers,

The following is an abridged translation of one of my articles, published in the section dedicated to

“(
بوّابة الواحة القانونيّة ,أسسها حكيم الواحة الراحل"الأفوكاتو")”

in the portal of this Forum.

The title of the article in Arabic is;

خدعوك فقالوا أن " الاعتراف سيد الأدلة"

The English translation:

Is it true that “Confession” is the strongest evidence of guilt


Written by: M. Torki.
LL B, LL D.


Believing that Confession is the strongest evidence of guilt (specially in criminal cases) was commonly accepted in the past by many academics , and this strong belief was mainly influenced by reverence to religious confessions in churches and temples, where the confessor believed that he/she may escape Celestial punishment by confessing to the clergy (the priest),and asking for forgiveness.

These views have changed, and the Doctrine of Criminal Confession now accommodates the two parties of a dispute according to the following reasons:

The confessor of a criminal guilt mainly tries to minimize the degree of his guilt, or at least, to reduce the penalty.The prosecutor, who finds difficulty proving the guilt of the defendant, may welcome the confession, even if the confession is qualified, as it will still save him the time and effort to prove the full guilt.
But the final decision will be left to the judge and the jury (if empanelled) who will decide the case, as explained in the following:


There are five conditions for the confession to be valid.

The first condition:

The confession must be given willingly, and by the confessor himself, because confessions about other people’s deeds are not acceptable.

But confessing about other person’s acts may make the confessor a witness to these acts.

The second condition:

The confession must be specific and clear, and not susceptible to multiple interpretations.

Other actions or behaviour by the confessor should not be interpreted as part of the confession, like failing to attend sessions of the trial, or offering a “plea bargain”, or offering to sort out the dispute amicably.

These offers should not be treated as confessions. The option by the accused to remain silent must not be interpreted as an implicit confession.

To be continued.