Both in English and German criminal procedure, fewer cases than in the past are decided on the basis of live witness testimony at the trial, and the ‘orality’ principle has been eroded in both jurisdictions. An increased reliance on witness statements made in pre-trial procedures has however come into conflict with the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). As a consequence, greater attention is focused on the need to regulate the way testimony is obtained in pre-trial procedure. It is argued that the shift of emphasis towards pre-trial procedure has to be accompanied by a more robust ‘search for the truth’ in harmony with recent human rights law. If pre-trial procedures are embedded with human rights guarantees, cases can be properly disposed of on the evidence collected in the pretrial phase.
Jackson, J., & Weigend, T. (2022). Witness Evidence in Pre-Trial and Trial Procedure. In K. Ambos, A. Duff, A. Heinze, J. Roberts, & T. Weigend (Eds.), Core Concepts in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. Volume 2 (260-299). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press