Evidence under suspicion

2019 to the present
What is it:
Strategic litigation, education, communication and research
Instituto Betty e Jacob Lafer

Transform the justice system, helping to create conditions to reduce illegal arrests

Criminal proceedings start much more often from police approaches than from actual investigations. Therefore, criminal convictions are often based on fragile evidence, many of which depends on the human memory, such as the testimony (including when solely provided by police officers), or personal recognition made with disregard towards the legal norms. On different fronts of action, such as strategic litigation, advocacy and training, Evidence Under Suspicion means to contribute to transforming the justice system, helping to create conditions to reduce illegal convictions. Through strategic litigation in national and international courts, this initiative seeks to change jurisprudence on issues such as: the undisputed validity of the police officer’s testimony; arrests originated in illegal approaches; and personal recognition of suspects with no regard for the law whatsoever. On the advocacy front, the Evidence Under Suspicion follow up bills and parliamentary activity on the aforementioned topics, promoting advances and avoiding setbacks, and also proposing the creation of protocols for recognition and testimony. On the training front, the project reunites lawyers, public defenders, and other figures of the criminal justice system to elaborate and applicate legal theses that address the issue of the exercise of an effective defense under those perspectives. This way, this initiative aims to improve the quality of evidence and criminal decision not only with legal mecanisms, but also those from the Testimony Psychology.

Learn more about the project’s multimedia dossier