Inherent unreliability of human memory: Queensland law and identification parades
This article examines Queensland law relating to the administration of identification parades and evaluates the extent to which unreliability of the human memory affects the reliability of this method of identification. More specifically, it will provide background information regarding the human memory as a factor impacting the accuracy of eyewitness identification. It will also identify five variables relating to identification parades: (a) behavioural influences; (b) instructions; (c) post-identification feedback; (d) presentation method; and (e) content - these can negatively affect memory retrieval and diminish the accuracy of eyewitness identifications. Also, the article will analyse the extent to which Queensland law relating to identification parades accounts for these five variables and will suggest reforms that can reduce the probability of obtaining unreliable eyewitness identification evidence from identification parades.
The Queensland Lawyer