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The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, bullet-pointed answer plans and suggested answers, author commentary and diagrams and flow charts. This chapter concerns a complex question in criminal evidence: situations where defendants may adduce evidence of good character to suggest lack of guilt and support credibility, and those where prosecution counsel or counsel for the co-defendant may cross-examine them on previous ‘reprehensible’ behaviour. The exclusionary rule was fundamental to the English legal system and founded on the principle that the defendant should have a fair trial. The Criminal Justice Act (CJA) 2003 made comprehensive changes to the rules of admissibility of evidence of bad character of the defendant and witnesses providing that ‘the common law rules governing the admissibility of evidence of bad character in criminal proceedings are abolished’. There is now a presumption of admissibility of that evidence.

Chapter

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, bullet-pointed answer plans and suggested answers, author commentary and illustrative diagrams and flow charts. This chapter focuses on the rule against hearsay, which is, historically, one of the great exclusionary rules underlying the law of evidence. In 1997 the Law Commission recommended that hearsay evidence be put on a clearer statutory footing in criminal trials. This eventually led to wholesale reform in the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) 2003, which preserves the rule but increases the number of exceptions and safeguards, providing a comprehensive regime for hearsay. The chapter provides an overview of the changes to hearsay introduced by the CJA 2003.

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Seriousness and proportionality are key concepts in the ‘just deserts’ approach to sentencing which was endorsed by the Criminal Justice Act 1991. This chapter analyses the extent to which this sentencing framework with retributivist principles has been undermined by subsequent changes in legislation, notably the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and by amendments to that Act. It examines law and guidance on constructing seriousness, particularly in relation to harm and culpability, and on determining a commensurate sentence. It illustrates issues by using examples from recent guidelines and focuses discussion on examples from custodial sentencing. Finally, the chapter discusses criticisms of modern retributivism.

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Chapter 10 begins with a discussion of the relevance of evidence of character. It then deals with the admissibility of character evidence in civil and criminal proceedings. In civil cases, the admissibility of evidence of a party’s bad character is governed simply by the test of relevance. In criminal proceedings, the entitlement of a defendant to a direction on the significance of his or her good character is taken seriously. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 now provides a comprehensive statement of the law on evidence of bad character in criminal proceedings.

Chapter

Chapter 10 begins with a discussion of the relevance of evidence of character. It then deals with the admissibility of character evidence in civil and criminal proceedings. In civil cases, the admissibility of evidence of a party’s bad character is governed simply by the test of relevance. In criminal proceedings, the entitlement of a defendant to a direction on the significance of his or her good character is taken seriously. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 now provides a comprehensive statement of the law on evidence of bad character in criminal proceedings.

Chapter

This chapter, which focuses on hearsay evidence and its relationship to confessions, first considers the rule against hearsay and its application to out-of-court statements of witnesses in civil and criminal cases. It then looks at statements, both oral and written, and gestures, as well as the admissibility of hearsay in criminal proceedings under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and, in outline, in civil proceedings under the Civil Evidence Act 1995. The chapter also explains the legal distinction between first-hand (what X told Y) and multiple hearsay (what X told Y who told Z), and concludes by discussing the landmark decisions under Article 6(3)(d) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Chapter

Chapter 3 examines the principles relating to the presentation of evidence in court. It first discusses the adversarial tradition upon which the English trial process is based. It then distinguishes between the principles governing the questioning of one’s own witness (which occurs in examination-in-chief and re-examination) and those governing the questioning of another party’s witness (which occurs in cross-examination). It shows that, in criminal proceedings, provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 now deal with two particular matters that may arise in the course of questioning one’s own witness—the extent to which refreshing memory is permitted, and the extent to which a previous consistent statement is admissible in evidence. The chapter also considers other issues, including the judicial approach to ‘no case to answer’ submissions in criminal trials, and the extent to which the claimant or prosecution may adduce further evidence after closing its case.

Chapter

Chapter 3 examines the principles relating to the presentation of evidence in court. It first discusses the adversarial tradition upon which the English trial process is based. It then distinguishes between the principles governing the questioning of one’s own witness (which occurs in examination-in-chief and re-examination) and those governing the questioning of another party’s witness (which occurs in cross-examination). It shows that, in criminal proceedings, provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 now deal with two particular matters that may arise in the course of questioning one’s own witness—the extent to which refreshing memory is permitted, and the extent to which a previous consistent statement is admissible in evidence. The chapter also considers other issues, including the judicial approach to ‘no case to answer’ submissions in criminal trials, and the extent to which the claimant or prosecution may adduce further evidence after closing its case.

Chapter

This chapter, which focuses on the admissibility and evidential worth of character evidence, explains the definition of bad character under the Criminal Justice Act 2003. It examines how bad character evidence of the defendant may be admitted through one of the ‘gateways’ under the Act. It reviews the evidential worth of the character evidence if admitted and explains the difference between propensity and credibility. The law on the admissibility of the bad character of non-defendant witnesses is explained. The chapter concludes with the admissibility of good character evidence, governed by the common law.

Chapter

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This introductory chapter discusses the origins of a ‘law of evidence’ and the properties of the law of evidence. The law of evidence is rapidly evolving. Since it determines the critical issue of which particular items of proof parties are actually permitted to produce before a court in support of their contentions, it would be hard to exaggerate the subject’s importance and relevance.

Chapter

Titles in the Core Text series take the reader straight to the heart of the subject, providing focused, concise, and reliable guides for students at all levels. This introductory chapter discusses the origins of a ‘law of evidence’ and the properties of the law of evidence. The law of evidence is rapidly evolving and, particularly in criminal cases, the Criminal Procedure Rules have transformed the environment within which they operate. Since it determines the critical issue of which particular items of proof parties are permitted to produce before a court in support of their contentions, it would be hard to exaggerate the subject’s importance and relevance.

Chapter

Hearsay evidence in criminal cases most often arises in two situations: if a witness testifies about facts of which he has no personal knowledge because the facts were communicated to the witness by another person who is not in court; and where a witness’ written statement is put before the court because the witness is unable to attend court to give oral evidence. This chapter discusses the general rule of hearsay evidence; identifying hearsay evidence; statutory exceptions to the hearsay rule; hearsay evidence under the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) 2003; hearsay admissible under the preserved common law rules; procedure for admitting hearsay evidence; and hearsay evidence and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) 1950.

Chapter

Martin Hannibal and Lisa Mountford

Hearsay evidence in criminal cases most often arises in two situations: if a witness testifies about facts of which he has no personal knowledge because the facts were communicated to the witness by another person who is not in court; and where a witness’ written statement is put before the court because the witness is unable to attend court to give oral evidence. This chapter discusses the general rule of hearsay evidence; identifying hearsay evidence; statutory exceptions to the hearsay rule; hearsay evidence under the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) 2003; hearsay admissible under the preserved common law rules; procedure for admitting hearsay evidence; and hearsay evidence and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) 1950.

Chapter

This chapter explains the procedure on passing sentence and the general principles that govern a court’s decision when passing sentence. It discusses the role of the Crow Prosecution Service (CPS) on sentence; the procedure on sentencing; hierarchy of sentences; sentencing aims; the basis of sentencing under the Criminal Justice Act 2003; Sentencing Council for England and Wales; sentencing guidelines in the Crown Court; how the defence solicitor assesses the seriousness of an offence; Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines (MCSGs); the importance of the pre—sentence report, personal offender mitigation; discount for timely guilty pleas; the Crown Court’s sentencing powers; victim impact statements; and taking other offences into consideration.

Chapter

This chapter explains the procedure on passing sentence and the general principles that govern a court’s decision when passing sentence. It discusses the role of the Crow Prosecution Service (CPS) on sentence; the procedure on sentencing; hierarchy of sentences; sentencing aims; the basis of sentencing under the Criminal Justice Act 2003; Sentencing Council for England and Wales; sentencing guidelines in the Crown Court; how the defence solicitor assesses the seriousness of an offence; Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines (MCSGs); the importance of the pre—sentence report, personal offender mitigation; discount for timely guilty pleas; the Crown Court’s sentencing powers; victim impact statements; and taking other offences into consideration.