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This book investigates the theory and practice of the Right to Confrontation, the right of accused persons to examine witnesses against them. Although exceptions to confrontation have always been recognised by domestic criminal courts, no European consensus exists on the values and interests that may legitimately allow incursions into this fundamental right.
Based upon the concept of testimonial evidence – which was first developed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Crawford v. Washington in 2004 - this book identifies three categories of declarants whose statements may pose a threat to the fairness of criminal trials: the “absent”, “anonymous” and “vulnerable” witnesses. In a truly supra-national perspective, attention focuses on the Confrontation clause of Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights, as interpreted by the case-law of the Strasbourg Court. The book then moves on to provide a comparative study of the Right to Confrontation in the context of the rules of criminal evidence and procedure in Italy, France and England and Wales.