Presentation of the Investigative Interview Methodology

In Ukraine, the process of obtaining information from a suspect is called an interrogation and is often accompanied by manipulative techniques, the purpose of which is to obtain a confession from a person at any cost. However, in many countries, police conduct an Investigative Interview – a procedural interview, the methodology of which allows one to get the necessary information from a suspect without pressure, intimidation or violence.

Here are some quotes from the guidelines on certain aspects of the tactics of interrogating a suspect and witness during a pre-trial investigation:

“Exploiting personal weaknesses… in anger, the interrogated person can say things that he/she would not normally say.”

“Using or creating a state of emotional tension. In a state of emotional tension, a person’s ability to exercise conscious control over the content of speech messages and behavior is significantly reduced.”

“Creating tension. … This technique gives significant results on the interrogated person, characterised by high emotional excitability and impulsivity.”

“Suddenness destroys the system of pre-prepared false answers and stresses an interrogated person, he/she finds it difficult to connect the unexpectedly received material with what was previously invented and cannot quickly formulate another false answer.”


Quotations source: Methodological recommendations on certain aspects of the tactics of suspect and a witness questioning during pre-trial investigation / G. A. Lukaneva-K.: Prosecutor general’s Office of Ukraine; National Academy of prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, 2012. — 37 p. — pp. 17-19.

During the study, “Tell me what happened or confess!” it was found that human attitude to the suspect, giving him the opportunity to present his own version of what happened, as well as attempts to find something in common (focusing on “establishing psychological contact and paying attention to the relationship with the person”) mostly led to the provision of previously unknown to the police information by suspects. Instead, in cases where a more confrontational style was applied, the suspects evaded answers more.


What is to be done for the introduction of Investigative Interview in Ukraine?

Experts of the #InvestigativeInterview.Ukraine initiative believe that the following actions are needed:

Creation of appropriate organizational and material conditions: equipping the interrogation rooms

Training of investigators in new methods — procedural interviews

Legislative changes

Фото: ©InvestigativeInterview.Ukraine


More information:


Criminal justice practitioners know the importance of common rules of the game for investigators, prosecutors, and judges. From now on, they can use a new productive tool that will affect all work processes — pre-trial investigation standards.

During the presentation of the standards at #JustConfUkraine2020, the representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor General and the NABU noted that these are not standards for investigating certain categories of crimes and not methodological materials. We are talking about procedural actions that are the basis of a pre-trial investigation. According to Yuriy Belousov, head of the Department of procedural guidance on criminal cases of torture and other serious violations of rights by law enforcement agencies of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, the idea of uniform standards for pre-trial investigation is designed to improve criminal justice. It is based on a fundamental function that will lead to a single consolidated vision of the role of the criminal process. The criminal process should serve neither the prosecution nor the defense. It should serve the society.



Pre-trial investigation standards, which are described in accordance with the functional roles and tasks of all participants in the pre-trial investigation, together with the algorithms of investigative actions.

Yuri Belousov: “Standards were developed by practitioners, and therefore took into account the “rules of the game” on each field»

Volodymyr Petrakovsky: “Standards present the rules for interaction between participants in criminal proceedings»

Taras Filonenko: “Standards synchronise the actions of all participants in the process»

Denys Gulmagomedov: “The idea of the product is not only to create it, but also to attract active users, get the feedback from them about its productivity and understand what is changing in the system and how»

The developed standards were tested in pilot groups and integrated into the application.

To download the app go here:

Pre-trial investigation standards can be downloaded from the App Store, Google Play, or used in PDF format.


Event partners:

National Police of Ukraine

Training Center for prosecutors of Ukraine

NABU open office

Attorney General’s office

International Renaissance Foundation.

Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation

Human Rights Expert Centre

Center for political and legal reforms

Real Stories Production




Andriy Orlean, Head of the Human Rights and Justice Programe