Police Impropriety at the Investigatory Stage
The issue of police misconduct in the course of criminal investigation is one which has received much attention in recent times. One question which has not generally been addressed, however, is the extent to which a prosecution may be stayed as an abuse of process on account of police impropriety at the investigatory stage. In England, circumvention by the police of proper extradition procedures in securing the presence of the defendant from outside the jurisdiction has been essentially the only kind of malpractice to have raised the issue. There are, of course, certain traditional avenues of redress available to victims of police misconduct in the shape of civil!1 and criminal actions against the police, and complaints procedures.2 Further, where the impropriety has led to the obtaining of evidence and the suspect is subsequently prosecuted, she may in certain circumstances be able to seek the exclusion of the evidence from the trial. It will be argued, however, that a stay of proceedings should also be recognized as an entirely appropriate part of the weaponry available to a court for dealing with pre-trial investigatory misconduct by the police. A discretion to stay proceedings on account of such misconduct will be shown to be an obvious corollary of a discretion to exclude improperly obtained evidence. Accordingly, extensive reference will be made in this chapter to the latter discretion.
As a preliminary to discussion of the English cases on illegal extradition,3 it____________________