Understanding and preventing testimonial injustice in criminal proceedings

A comment on Federico Picinali “Evidential reasoning, testimonial injustice and the fairness of the criminal trial”


  • Abenaa Owusu-Bempah LSE


Reflecting on Federico Picinali’s arguments in «Evidential Reasoning, Testimonial Injustice and the Fairness of the Criminal Trial», this paper aims to further understanding of the scope and implications of epistemic injustice in criminal trials, and the problem of biased evidential reasoning more generally. It demonstrates how legal rules can result in dismissal or oversight of the defendant’s stock of knowledge; offers support for Picinali’s contention that testimonial injustice to defendants interferes with the right to a fair trial, while questioning whether the same can be said of testimonial injustice to complainants; and considers who can cause, and be a victim of, testimonial injustice. The paper goes on to evaluate Picinali’s proposed measures to prevent testimonial injustice in evidential reasoning, while advocating for law reform to restrict the admissibility of rap music as evidence in criminal trials.

Palabras clave

Evidential reasoning, testimonial injustice, relevance, participation in criminal trials, trial fairness


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Case law and legislation

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Doorson v Netherlands, No. 20524/92, European Court of Human Rights, 26 March 1996. https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#{%22itemid%22:[%22001-2799%22]}

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R. v Webber [2004] UKHL 1.

R. v Cowan [1996] QB 373.

SC v UK, No. 60958/00, European Court of Human Rights, 15 June 2004. https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#{%22itemid%22:[%22001-106981%22]}

Stanford v UK, No. 16757/90, European Court of Human Rights, 23 February 1994. https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng#{%22itemid%22:[%22001-57874%22]}





Cómo citar

Owusu-Bempah, A. (2024). Understanding and preventing testimonial injustice in criminal proceedings: A comment on Federico Picinali “Evidential reasoning, testimonial injustice and the fairness of the criminal trial”. Quaestio Facti. Revista Internacional Sobre Razonamiento Probatorio, (7), 139–152. https://doi.org/10.33115/udg_bib/qf.i7.23007