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Chapter

Cover Cross & Tapper on Evidence

VIII. Bad character of the accused  

This chapter takes up the discussion from the previous chapter by exploring the bad character of the accused. This subject matter is almost wholly governed by certain provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003. Thus, the chapter first considers the nature of the problem of the admission of evidence of the bad character of the accused; then attempts at reform, at common law, by recommendations of law reform bodies, and by legislation; an indication of the principal forms of continuing dissatisfaction; and finally the intentions and techniques designed to remedy them. Next, the chapter considers the structure of the bad character provisions from the 2003 legislation and the gateways it provides for admissibility. Finally, this chapter concludes with a brief appraisal of the 2003 act.

Chapter

Cover Evidence Concentrate

5. Character evidence  

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 (CJA). 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 and the reasons for a more protective stance highlighted. The chapter concludes with a review of the admissibility of good character evidence, governed by the common law.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

10. Character Evidence  

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

Cover Evidence

8. Evidence of the defendant’s bad character  

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. Human behaviour tends to follow patterns. Those who have previously been convicted of crime, or who can be shown to have committed other offences or to have behaved disreputably, either have a tendency to reoffend or are more likely to commit offences than those without such attributes. A defendant’s previous bad character may also reflect on credibility. This chapter discusses the following: the problem of whether or not to admit evidence of a defendant’s misconduct on other occasions; the situations in which evidence of a defendant’s bad character may become admissible in criminal cases, and the purposes for which it may be admitted. The admission of similar fact evidence in civil cases is also discussed.

Chapter

Cover The Modern Law of Evidence

19. Evidence of character: evidence of bad character in criminal cases  

This chapter begins with an introduction to the statutory framework governing the admissibility of bad character evidence. It goes on to consider the statutory definition of ‘bad character’ and to discuss the admissibility of evidence of bad character in criminal cases under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, namely: the admissibility of the bad character of a person other than the defendant and the requirement of leave; the admissibility of evidence of the bad character of the defendant under various statutory ‘gateways’, including the gateway by which evidence may be admitted if it is relevant to an important matter in issue between the defendant and the prosecution; and safeguards including the discretion to exclude evidence of bad character and the judge’s power to stop a case where the evidence is contaminated. Procedural rules are also considered, as is the defendant’s right to challenge evidence of bad character.

Chapter

Cover Murphy on Evidence

15. Character evidence II  

Evidence of bad character

This chapter discusses the evidence of bad character in criminal cases since the abolition of the common law rules relating to it. It covers the definition of bad character under ss. 98 and 112 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003; evidence of bad character of accused and the admissible gateways under s. 101; evidence of bad character of persons other than accused under s. 100; safeguards in relation to evidence of bad character under s. 103; and other statutory provisions dealing with bad character, in particular those dealing with sexual history questioning: s. 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.

Chapter

Cover Murphy on Evidence

16. Previous judgments as evidence  

The common law adopted the position that previous judgments should not be admissible as evidence of the truth of the facts on which they are based, as against strangers to the judgment. However, given the evidential value of previous judgments, the following cases must be distinguished: (a) judgments as evidence of their own existence, content, and legal effect; (b) judgments as evidence of the truth of facts on which they are based, as between the parties to the proceedings in which the judgment was given, and their privies; and (c) judgments as evidence of the truth of facts on which they are based, as between strangers to the proceedings in which the judgment was given, or as between parties to the proceedings (or their privies) and strangers. This chapter discusses cases (a) and (c).

Book

Cover Evidence

Roderick Munday

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. Written by leading academics and renowned for their clarity, these concise texts explain the intellectual challenges of each area of the law. Evidence provides students with a succinct yet thought-provoking introduction to all of the key areas covered on undergraduate law of evidence courses. Vibrant and engaging, the book sets out to demystify a traditionally intimidating area of law. Probing analysis of the issues, both historical and current, ensures that the text contains a thorough exploration of the ‘core’ of the subject. The book covers: the relevance and admissibility of evidence; presumptions and the burden of proof; witnesses: competence, compellability and various privileges; the course of the trial; witnesses’ previous consistent statements and the remnants of the rule against narrative; character and credibility; evidence of the defendant’s bad character; the opinion rule and the presentation of expert evidence; the rule against hearsay; confessions; drawing adverse inferences from a defendant’s omissions, lies or false alibis; and identification evidence. A clearly structured introduction, this is the ideal text for any student who may find evidence a somewhat forbidding subject.