Entrapment

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Giving a person the opportunity to commit a crime, with a view to securing a conviction. Entrapment has no particular status under English law: in theory if it amounts to Incitement or Conspiracy then it is an offence, whatever the motive. At the same time it is not unlawful in itself, as it is in some jurisdictions.

It is not, in general, a defence for the defendant to claim that his offence resulted from entrapment. Before the passage of the Police And Criminal E v idence Act (1984) judges had no real discretion to penalise the Crown for the use of such procedures. Now under s.78 of that Act a judge may rule evidence obtained by entrapment inadmissible. This will only be effective if it is shown that the introduction of the evidence is prejudicial to the fairness of the trial beyond its probative value. However, the Human Rights Act (1998) gives effect to the 'right to a fair trial', and it may be that courts will come under increased pressure to strike out entrapment cases. For a discussion of s.78, see improperly obtained evidence.

UK LAW
Criminal Law