Truth in Criminal Law and Procedure: The Erosion of a Fundamental Value
The article deals with the relevance of truth in criminal procedure and criminal law. In criminal procedure, it is important to maintain an honest search for the truth as a distinctive feature of the proceedings. One should therefore be sceptical of shortcuts to justice that rely exclusively on the defendant’s consent as the basis for the court’s judgement. Criminal law has wisely refrained from making lies punishable except in special contexts. Although the ease of spreading lies via the internet leads to extended risks, especially for the political process, criminal prohibition of spreading ‘fake news’ is not advisable, because these efforts tend to be overly broad and promote state censorship.