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Pre Interview Briefings with Legal Advisers. Outline. Role of Interviewer Role of Legal Adviser Legal Adviser Management Pre Interview Briefing PEACE Interview Structure Legal Adviser Intervention Material to evidence. Role of the Interviewer. Role of the Interviewer.

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Pre Interview Briefings with Legal Advisers

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Pre interview briefings with legal advisers

Pre Interview Briefings with Legal Advisers



  • Role of Interviewer

  • Role of Legal Adviser

  • Legal Adviser Management

  • Pre Interview Briefing

  • PEACE Interview Structure

  • Legal Adviser Intervention

  • Material to evidence

Role of the interviewer

Role of the Interviewer

Role of the interviewer1

Role of the Interviewer

The aim is to obtain an accurate and reliable account.

You must act fairly when conducting questioning. Vulnerable people must be treated with particular consideration at all times.

You are not bound to accept the first answer given. Questioning is not unfair merely because it is persistent.

Role of the interviewer2

Role of the Interviewer

You should approach the interview with an investigative mindset.

Accounts obtained from the person who is being interviewed should always be tested against what you already know or what can reasonably be established.

Role of the interviewer3

Role of the Interviewer

When conducting an interview, you are free to ask a wide range of questions in order to obtain material which may assist an investigation.

Even when the right of silence is exercised by a suspect, investigators have a responsibility to put questions to them.

Pre interview briefings with legal advisers


  • Material is material of any kind, including information and objects, which is obtained in the course of a criminal investigation and which may be relevant to the investigation.

Core investigative doctrine 4 1

Core Investigative Doctrine 4.1

  • It may be difficult for investigators to predict what will or will not be relevant to the investigation, particularly during the early stages when the exact nature of what has happened and who is involved may still be unclear.

Core investigative doctrine 4 11

Core Investigative Doctrine 4.1

  • Whether material becomes information, intelligence or evidence is dependent on the use to which it is put.

Core investigative doctrine 4 2 2

Core Investigative Doctrine 4.2.2

  • The aim of the investigator is to maximise the amount of material that is collected. The rules that determine what material will be accepted by a court as evidence are complex and are often themselves contested within a criminal trial.

Core investigative doctrine 4 2 21

Core Investigative Doctrine 4.2.2

  • Even though the material is of a type that is generally not admissible it does not mean that it should not be gathered or that it will not assist in the investigation

Core investigative doctrine 4 2 22

Core Investigative Doctrine 4.2.2

  • Such material may be highly valuable in setting parameters for other investigative activities or generating lines of enquiry that may produce other relevant, reliable and admissible material, and should, therefore, always be gathered

Role of the legal adviser

Role of the Legal Adviser

Role of legal adviser

Role of Legal Adviser

  • The Legal advisers only role in the police station is to protect and advance the legal rights of their client.

  • On occasions this may require the legal adviser to give advice which has the effect of their client avoiding giving evidence which strengthens a prosecution case

Legal adviser management

Legal Adviser Management



  • Adopt a Professional Approach

  • Understand your role

  • Understand and accept their role

  • Plan and Prepare

  • Manage the process

  • Keep Written records

Pre interview briefing

Pre Interview Briefing

Initial information

Initial Information

Overview of offence (decisions)

Significant Statement

Property Recovered (Suspect Aware)

Previous Convictions

Previous Interview Accounts

Medical examination

Vulnerability Assessment

Samples obtained from suspect

Investigative material (decisions)

Additional considerations

Additional Considerations

  • Witness Accounts

  • Co-Accused Interviews

  • Forensic

  • Exhibits

  • Overt Operations

  • Covert Operations

  • CCTV

  • Digital Images

  • Telephone Analysis

  • Financial Investigation

  • Victim Injuries

  • Medical reports

  • Intelligence

Peace interview structure

PEACE Interview Structure



  • Planning and Preparation

  • Engage and Explain

  • Account, Clarification and Challenge

  • Closure

  • Evaluation

Three phases

Three Phases

  • Suspect Account

  • Police Agenda

  • Challenge

Interview aims

Interview Aims

  • Phase 1 Account from a suspect in their response to the allegation

  • Denial Questions around material time frame

  • Phase 2 Relevant investigative areas

  • Phase 3 Presenting the gathered material to the suspect



  • Impact of the disclosure of material upon the aim of the interview

  • Phased disclosure

  • Solicitor reaction

  • Court response

Legal adviser interview intervention

Legal Adviser Interview Intervention

Steps during interview

Steps during Interview

  • At outset of the interview make an opening statement confirming your role, the information you have been given by the police, the information you have requested and not received and ask for it again

  • Read the prepared statement by the client, if one has been drafted and hand it to the interviewing officer.

Steps during interview1

Steps during interview

  • Advise the client without stopping the interview, where appropriate.

  • Otherwise ensure, if appropriate, that the interview is stopped to give the client legal advice in private

  • Seek to ensure the client understands the questions put and is allowed to answer freely.

  • Object at once to oppressive questioning

Exclusion during interview

Exclusion during Interview

  • Legal Adviser may intervene in order to seek clarification, challenge an improper question to their client or the manner in which it is put, advise their client not to reply to particular questions, or if they wish to give their client further legal advice



  • Exclusion ought to apply only if the solicitors approach or conduct prevents or unreasonably obstructs proper questions being put to the suspect or the suspects response being recorded

Material to evidence

Material to Evidence

  • Admissibility

  • Pre Interview Briefing

  • Quality of interview

  • Interview Structure

  • Prosecution basis

  • Case presentation

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