2014 (Political Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 24

[Answer/discuss the question below. Or see 2014 bar exam Political Law Instructions; 2014 Political Law Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30; See also 2014 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]


Alienmae is a foreign tourist. She was asked certain questions in regard to a complaint that was filed against her by someone who claimed to have been defrauded by her. Alienmae answered all the questions asked, except in regard to some matters in which she invoked her right against self-incrimination. When she was pressed to elucidate, she said that the questions being asked might tend to elicit incriminating answers insofar as her home state is concerned. Could Alienmae invoke the right against self-incrimination if the fear of incrimination is in regard to her foreign law? (4%)


  1. The right of the defendant in a criminal case “to be exempt from being a witness against himself” signifies that he cannot be compelled to testify or produce evidence in the criminal case in which he is the accused, or one of the accused.

    It is not distinguish whether the incrimination is in regard to a foreign law. What matters is that Alienmae is being compelled to answer incriminating questions in a criminal proceeding to which she is an accused.

    1. I am quite unsure whether I will agree with the above answer. I am actually confused. Is there some jurisprudence similar to this?

      Well, the purpose of the right against self-incrimination is to safeguard individuals from future conviction. Therefore, it necessarily pertains to an actual criminality for which the person can be prosecuted. In the given situation, there is no possibility of prosecution because the fact sought to be elicited from Alienmae does not pertain to a criminality which can be prosecuted in the country. I am then constrained to conclude that Alienmae cannot invoke the right against self-incrimination in the given case.

      1. Yes but if Alienmae’s answer would tend to incriminate her in her native land and be prosecuted there, then the purpose of our law against self-incrimination would be defeated. She would still land in jail regardless of the place.

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