Applying the Privilege against Self-Incrimination to Physical Examinations and Document Submission: The Autonomy to Choose a Defense and the Right to Passivity

The question of whether the privilege against self-incrimination should cover physical search as well as the obligation to provide documents requires a serious examination of the justifications underlying the privilege against self-incrimination, and is of particular relevance in the current age of technological transformations that expand the powers assigned to law-enforcement agencies to access knowledge and thoughts stored in individuals' minds. The paper addresses the comparative law regarding the applicability of the privilege to physical search and to the obligation to submit documents and discusses key justifications of the privilege against self-incrimination. The paper concludes that applying the privilege against self-incrimination to physical search and to the obligation to submit documents is necessary to protect the autonomy of suspects to choose their defense strategy.