US entertainment media have an outsized influence on other countries and cultures. For instance, apparently in some places the emergency services now have to respond to "9-1-1" calls in addition to the usual local number such as "9-9-9".

But this one surprised me. In a crime novel set in Britain, by a British author, regarding a British police detective and a suspect:

"Am I under arrest?"

"Did you hear me read you your Miranda rights?"

"Well, no, but..."

Is this plausible? Has "Miranda" become one of those US memes passed on to other countries, to the point where everyday criminals in the West Midlands would understand it as shorthand for being questioned under caution?

I can't find any evidence of this online, but it seems unlikely that this author (English born and Black Country bred) just made it up.

Has anyone seen real-life examples of this?

  • 3
    Well yes it's a worldwide trope, precisely thanks to the fact that it's a meme and nothing to do with reality. That facilitates its spread enormously. That the author thinks Miranda rights are somehow part of an arrest procedure, let alone a mandatory part, is a testament to the fact that he doesn't know the first thing about them, it's not something that actually happens in his country of origin, and not something that he has so much as spent twenty seconds on Wikipedia researching. It's quite obviously a convenient meme he overheard on the TV somewhere.
    – RegDwigнt
    Oct 27, 2018 at 20:57
  • Do bear in mind that at least a couple of the popular "British" detective series are written by Americans.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 27, 2018 at 21:01
  • @hotlicks - Yes, I'm familiar with that phenomenon (-: but this author is definitely a "native".
    – Jim Mack
    Oct 27, 2018 at 22:21
  • Could you tell us what the novel is and if it is a US published edition you are reading? It is possible that, as with JK Rowling’s Philosopher’s Stone, an editor has decided some UK term isn’t well enough known stateside and substituted a standard US term?
    – Spagirl
    Oct 28, 2018 at 8:53
  • @Spagirl - An interesting thought, but unlikely given that these novels (this is the 9th in a series by Angela Marsons) are e-book only AFAIK and not sold in enough volume to justify customization. One of the reasons I enjoy such series is the strong sense of place, local colo(u)r, customs and practices, etc. If they were 'americanized' they'd be less appealing.
    – Jim Mack
    Oct 28, 2018 at 14:11

2 Answers 2


Much to my surprise, I did find at least one example:

"Miranda rights introduced in Scotland under sweeping new police powers" - Stirling News, UK


Self Incrimination laws aka Miranda

The Right to Remain Silent Around the World Fed. of Am Scientists

“The warnings specified in the surveyed jurisdictions vary, but typically include the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel. A number of countries also specify that a person who is arrested or detained has the right to be informed of the reasons for the arrest or detention or of the charges being brought,” the study said

Miranda type laws are now in 108 countries other than America.

This EU Observer article (2010) talks of Miranda types laws in Europe:

Brussels wants US-style 'Miranda rights' across Europe

Did Miranda cross the Atlantic ... to degrees, YES.

  • 4
    I think the questioner is asking about the use of the word "Miranda" to describe these laws outside of the USA. Oct 27, 2018 at 20:09
  • 3
    @markbeadles - Yes, I'm aware that the laws/rights exist and are spreading. I was surprised only that the term "Miranda rights" was used so casually in a UK setting.
    – Jim Mack
    Oct 27, 2018 at 22:18

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