T O O L

CTI TRAINING TOOLS 1/2017

INVESTIGATIVE INTERVIEWING
FOR CRIMINAL CASES
Conducting interviews is a core task of law enforcement. How interviews are conducted can have a profound
impact on the outcome, fairness, efficiency and reliability of any subsequent criminal proceedings. Police, other
law enforcement officers and officials from other investigative bodies are bound to respect and protect the
inherent dignity and physical and mental integrity of all persons – including victims, witnesses and suspects –
during questioning. Yet torture and other forms of ill-treatment, coercion and intimidation against persons in
custody and during interviews continue in different parts of the world. The existence of a ”confession culture”
in policing and criminal justice systems in many countries, alongside the absence of training and expertise in
the range of crime solving techniques and humane ways of interviewing, can incentivise abusive practices in
order to extract a confession or information.

This tool provides an overview and introduction to a method of questioning victims, witnesses and suspects
known as “investigative interviewing”, a technique developed by practitioners to respond to the large body of
scientific evidence that abusive and coercive techniques elicit unreliable information. The technique is commonly
used in the criminal justice sector, including in relation to terrorism cases. It can also be applied effectively in
intelligence or security interviews. Through building rapport with the interviewee, the technique has been found
not only to prevent abusive practices, but also to improve the collection and reliability of information, and in turn,
how citizens perceive the fairness of the justice sector. In doing so, it builds public confidence in the administration
of justice and enhances State legitimacy.

This document forms part of the CTI compilation of capacity building and training materials developed to assist States to
educate and inform officials on good practices in implementing the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and to raise awareness of the general public so they understand and can exercise their
rights under the Convention.

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