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Miranda Rights outside of the U.S.

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The Miranda Rights were created in the United States, and this is the only country that will use this specific method to inform people under arrest of what their immediate rights are pertaining to arrest. Other countries, however, do have similar readings to be made during arrest so that their citizens are also aware of their immediate rights; while the American version weighs in mostly for the fact that a suspect need not say anything to convict themselves, foreign versions have other focuses.

In Canada, for example, upon arrest a person will be told of the reasons they are being placed under arrest, that they have the right to obtain a lawyer through the state, and that they will have their arrest reviewed in relation to habeus corpus and if it is found to be unlawful, they will be immediately released. The right to legal aid is the key factor here, because in obtaining a lawyer a suspect will then have access to all the information concerning their rights that it is possible to have. Police understand that a suspect can’t be told every single right upon arrest because it is simply unfeasible. Because of this the focus falls to legal aide and if a person cannot afford a lawyer one will be provided for them if they so choose.

In Australia, the caution given upon arrest is most similar to the American Miranda Rights. A suspect is placed under arrest and simply told that they may speak if they wish, but that if they do so whatever they say might be used in evidence. This is a very straightforward method of arrest that takes its cue from the United States, and actually police make no other major points in their arrests aside from this. As Australia uses a form of English Common Law, it is not surprising that the caution used in England and Wales is quite similar.

English and Welsh versions of the Miranda Rights also focus directly on the right of an individual not to incriminate himself. Any version of “you don’t have to speak but if you do whatever you say might be taken down and evidenced against you” will suffice, and this is the main point of the caution. In other European countries, however, much more information is required of the arresting officer while making an arrest.

In France, for example, someone being placed under arrest must be told a large number of rights such as the right to be seen by a doctor, to receive legal aid, to remain silent, to make statements and to answer questions and to inform family members of their whereabouts. The rights must be read in a language that the suspect can understand.

Germany arresting officers need to inform their suspects of their rights to remain silent, speak with a legal aide, divulge information concerning evidence in their favor and they must also be told of the crime with which they are charged.

Every country has taken its own spin on the Miranda Rights but the overwhelming point is, no person should be arrested without understanding exactly what is going on and what is expected of them.

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