Wednesday, October 2, 2013


catatonicanimal Published on 16 Jul 2013

"An ancient principle of the common law that a person not under arrest has no obligation to stop for police, or answer their questions. And there is no statute that removes that right.

"(Mr Hamilton) before being placed under arrest did not have any obligation to stop when requested to do so, or to answer questions asked of him,'' the judge said.

"The conferring of such a power on a police officer would be a substantial detraction from the fundamental freedoms which have been guaranteed to the citizen by the common law for centuries.''

Justice Stephen Kaye
Andrew Hamilton v. Director of Public Prosecutions
December 25,2011, Victorian Supreme Court

No Duty To Identify Oneself
"The common law does not require a citizen to identify oneself or carry identification f any kind"

Koechlin v. waugh (1957)

Supreme Court of Canada
Moore v. The Queen, [1979] 1 S.C.R. 195

"There is no duty at common law to identify oneself to police, and the refusal to so identify oneself cannot constitute obstruction of the police. A person cannot "obstruct" by refusing to answer a question unless he is under a legal duty to answer. The argument that because a duty rested upon constables to investigate crime and enforce provincial laws, an "implied" or "reciprocal" duty rested upon a person, suspected of an infraction, to give his name and address, and refusal to do so amounted to such frustration as to constitute the offence of obstructing the police in the execution of their duty was rejected. Only if the police have a lawful claim to demand that a person identify himself, does the person have a corresponding duty to do so."

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