They\’ll be harmonising the legal systems soon enough and this is the sort of thing which will happen:
An Italian teenager suspected of killing his mother – a well known author of a guide to the Harry Potter books – will remain in prison for a year while the investigation continues, a judge has ruled.
Note that this is not on remand, awaiting trial.
After two hours of interrogation, the judge decided that there is enough evidence to hold him in custody pending formal charges.
It\’s a year in jail before formal charges are laid down. A year before he even knows what he will be charged with, a year before he has any possibility of attempting to refute the charges, a year before he can even start to prove his innocence (not that I think he is going to be able to do that but that\’s another matter).
This is what is at the heart of the seemingly arcane matter of being able to continue to interrogate (which we do not currently allow) after charging.
It\’s in direct contravention of the basics of the current legal system, that you can only be held (with a few day\’s grace that is) once you\’ve been charged.
No, I don\’t look forward to the English courts adopting this system, but I fear that it will either be forced upon us….or that the current shower will continue taking us down the road to it.