n South African Law Journal - An analysis of American Fifth Amendment jurisprudence and its relevance to the South African right to silence

Volume 123, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



This contribution is an analysis of the United States Supreme Court's interpretation of an accused's 5th Amendment right to silence, and its purpose is to add value to the present debate about the evidentiary significance of the silence principle entrenched in s 35 of the South African Constitution. The coercion and the impermissible-burden models developed by the Supreme Court will also provide a unique insight into the constitutional rationales for the existence and importance of a pre-trial and a trial right to silence.

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