Require response to hearsay
- "X says you said or did Y, what do you have to say about that?"
If there is any consequence whatsoever for failing to respond, this method is in play. Two good examples include:
- Daniel Mayer's and English Wikipedia User RickK's and Robert Kaiser's various assertions of death threats on Wikipedia wiki talk pages which apparently never occurred (Mayer deleted evidence in the only case in doubt). These assertions were used to demand responses by accused parties (so-called "trolls") and to excuse several rather extreme IP blocks. The influence of those three parties (all in a conflict of interest due to their participation in edit wars) on Wikipedia mailing lists is generally believed to have started a vicious cycle of sysop vandalism, sysop vigilantiism, libel chill and self-defensive faction creation by troll organizations, including the Wikipedia red faction and Legion of Trolls. One motive for Recyclopedia:faction proposal.
- Myriam Bedard testifying to a Canadian House of Commons committee on abuse of government funds in the Canadian sponsorship scandal in March 2004, in which she asserted that her agent had told her of a large secret payment to race car driver Jacques Villeneuve, and that her boss at Via Rail had told her that Quebec advertising agency Groupaction was involved in drug trafficking. Both claimed that they had been misheard or misinterpreted, but given that the evidence was hearsay, members of the Committee strongly objected that it had been heard in public at all.
Incidents like this render due process ultimately ineffective by rendering parties hostile to it, and uninterested in further debate about such claims - which will almost certainly simply extend the hearsay or any lying or justifying of the interpretation, and thus exclude the party so accussed.
This is a basic violation of presumption of innocence - thus this practice is banned in all legal codes. Jury instructions by judges always include instructions to discard hearsay and judges do their best to ensure it does not appear in evidence, even if evidence discovered due to it, does.
The prohibition against self-incrimination is for parallel reasons: only one party is accused and questioned at one time, thus any decision to pursue that individual carries a strong confirmation bias towards that one's guilt: the committee wants to believe it is right to be questioning that person, and no one else, and it wants to end the matter and appear competent. These urges alone quite commonly lead to torture in many modern countries.