Welcome to the second episode of "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”. In this session, Dr. Ivar Fahsing sits down with Prof. Juan Méndez, a renowned human rights advocate and former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. Recorded in New York during the launch of the UN Manual on Investigative Interviewing for Criminal Investigation, this episode offers a deep dive into Prof. Méndez's crucial role in shaping guidelines that integrate police interviewing techniques with human rights standards. Join us as we explore the ethical transformation of modern policing practices, underscore the prohibition of torture, and discuss the global impact of these changes. Prof. Méndez's insights into the evolution of legal standards and his personal experiences enhance our understanding of the delicate balance between effective law enforcement and the preservation of human rights.

Revolutionising police interviewing: The Méndez Principles and modern policing 

Second episode of the podcast “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” is out now.

In the second episode of “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt“, we are privileged to present a conversation between detective and academic Dr. Ivar Fahsing and Prof. Juan Méndez, a legendary figure in the realm of human rights.

Méndez, a former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, has been instrumental in shaping guidelines that have significantly altered the landscape of police interrogation and interviewing across the globe. 

Who is Juan Méndez? 

Prof. Juan Méndez’s journey as a human rights advocate is both profound and inspiring. Born and raised in Argentina, Méndez witnessed firsthand the atrocities committed under military dictatorship, where torture was rampant. His personal experiences and legal background propelled him into a lifelong quest against torture, eventually leading him to serve as a global advocate and an influential figure in the United Nations. 

His work culminated in the development of the Méndez Principles; a set of guidelines designed to ensure that police interviewing techniques comply with international human rights standards. These principles emphasise the prohibition of torture and psychological coercion, advocating for methods that respect the dignity and rights of all individuals. 

Fahsing and Méndez in New York

The impact of the Méndez Principles 

During the podcast, Méndez discusses the significant impact these principles have had on global policing standards. The conversation reveals how traditional, coercive interrogation tactics not only fail to comply with ethical norms but are also ineffective and can lead to false confessions and miscarriages of justice. The Méndez principles offer a framework that helps police forces shift towards more humane and effective practices. 

Why listen? 

This episode is crucial for understanding the intersection of law enforcement and human rights. It highlights the necessity of ethical standards in policing, not just for the sake of compliance but because humane practices lead to more effective law enforcement. For Davidhorn, a company working with recording police interviews, this discussion underscores the importance of transparency and ethics in every interaction within the criminal justice system. 

The takeaway 

“Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” with Juan Méndez is more than just a podcast episode; it’s a call to action for reforming interrogation practices worldwide and turning them into investigative interviewing. It serves as a reminder that change is possible when we commit to upholding the dignity and rights of all individuals in the pursuit of justice. 

Whether you are a legal professional, law enforcement officer, a student of human rights, or simply a concerned citizen, this episode offers valuable insights into how we can all contribute to a more just and ethical world.