Report No. 33
33. Statements in aid of justice.-
The protection under the head of statements in aid of justice is also relevant. It is thus stated in Gately 1:
"It is the public duty of everyone who knows, or reasonably believes, that a crime has been committed to assist in the discovery of the wrongdoer. Any complaint made, or information given, for that purpose to the police, or to those interested in investigating the matter, will, in the interests of society, be privileged and the mere fact that the defendant volunteered the information will make no difference".
The statement must be made to the proper authorities2, and with the honest desire of promoting investigation into the alleged crime3.
"A man is but a poor citizen, to say nothing worse of him, if he is deliberately silent when he sees the lives of the public likely to be imperilled or the property of another person in obvious danger of being stolen or destroyed by one whom he honestly believes to be a drunkard or a thief".4
1. Gatley Libel and Slander, (1960), p. 210, para. 36
2. Gatley Libel and Slander, (1960), p. 210, para. 363.
3. Gatley Libel and Slander, (1960), p. 212, para. 367.
4. See Winfield on Tort, (1963), p. 638.