2013 (Political Law) Bar Exam Questions: Essay Question 7

[Answer/discuss the question below. Or see Political Law Instructions; Political Law Essay Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 68, 9, 10, 11 and 12; Political Law Multiple Choice Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20. See also 2013 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]


As he was entering a bar, Arnold — who was holding an unlit cigarette in this right hand — was handed a match box by someone standing near the doorway. Arnold unthinkingly opened the matchbox to light his cigarette and as he did so, a sprinkle of dried leaves fell out, which the guard noticed. The guard immediately frisked Arnold, grabbed the matchbox, and sniffed its contents. After confirming that the matchbox contained marijuana, he immediately arrested Arnold and called in the police.

At the police station, the guard narrated to the police that he personally caught Arnold in possession of dried marijuana leaves. Arnold did not contest the guard’s statement; he steadfastly remained silent and refused to give any written statement. Later in court, the guard testified and narrated the statements he gave the police over Arnold’s counsel’s objections. While Arnold presented his own witnesses to prove that his possession and apprehension had been set-up, he himself did not testify.

The court convicted Arnold, relying largely on his admission of the charge by silence at the police investigation and during trial.

From the constitutional law perspective, was the court correct in its ruling? (6%)


  1. No, the court is not correct. An accused has the absolute right not to testify or even refused to answer any question which might incriminate him and these refusal cannot be taken against him since this is his Constitutional right under Art. 3 of the Constitution.

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