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Evidence of Bad Character

By: J R Spencer
Media of Evidence of Bad Character
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Published: 01-09-2016
Format: Paperback
Edition: 3rd
Extent: 384
ISBN: 9781509900046
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £42.99
Online price : £38.69
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Loren Epson

About Evidence of Bad Character

This is the third edition of J R Spencer's now well established book which seeks to explain this area of law for the benefit of judges, criminal practitioners and academics teaching the law of evidence.
In the past, the rule excluding evidence of the defendant's general bad character and disposition to commit the offence was sometimes described as one of the most hallowed rules of evidence; Lord Sankey, in Maxwell v DPP, referred to it as ' of the most deeply rooted and jealously guarded principles of our criminal law.' In reality it was not particularly ancient, and as the years went by it was increasingly attacked. On technical grounds the body of law surrounding it was criticised as over-complicated and inconsistent, and more radical critics condemned it as unduly favourable to the guilty. In response to this, the law was completely recast in Part 11 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. This book, now again updated to take account of further legislative changes, case-law and academic writing, offers a thorough analysis of the bad character provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 in the light of the way in which they have been interpreted by the courts.

Table Of Contents



“Professor Spencer writes in an extremely clear and concise manner...Practising criminal lawyers are…likely to take heart from the updating of this often-cited, and often-persuasive volume. It deals with a notoriously contentious area of English criminal procedure in a straightforward way and deserves to remain the authoritative work on this topic.” –  Tomas Hamilton, The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice Volume 53, No. 1 (Review of 2nd Edition)

“...remains at the forefront of tackling this extremely important subject...this book is of a high and scholarly standard and the new edition is very welcome.” –  Rob Jerrard, Internet Law Book Reviews (Review of 2nd Edition)

“It is easy to see why this book has such broad appeal. Spencer has a certain genius when it comes to bringing concision and clarity to material which others would most probably render lengthy and difficult...Spencer's work is an essential starting point for getting to grips with bad character evidence, and yet there remains plenty of scope for others to contribute their own arguments.” –  Jonathan Rogers, Criminal Law Review (Review of 2nd Edition)

“This is a concise, highly portable and valuable little book.” –  Benedict Mills, New Law Journal (Review of 1st Edition)

“It is difficult to see how this complex legislation could be presented or explained more clearly…essential for all criminal practitioners.” –  Nigel Pascoe QC, Counsel (Review of 1st Edition)

“This book is..timely and presents a thorough and remarkably clear analysis of the bad character provisions…After spending only a short time reading this book I am now much clearer on these provisions than I have been at any time over the last year. You can expect to see this book produced widely in court.” –  Andrew Keogh, Crimeline Updater (Review of 1st Edition)

“…the commentary is of a high and scholarly standard…It is small and light enough to be slipped into the case of travelling counsel, and is likely to be considered authoritative enough to be cited in court…It should be required reading for counsel and the judiciary…” –  Jon Mack, Internet Law Book Reviews (Review of 1st Edition)

“This book will provide valuable comparative material for evidence scholars and post-graduate students who wish to consider different approaches to the vexed question of prejudicial evidence. It will also, once the Act has come into force, provide valuable material for prosecuting and defence counsel looking for precedents for the analysis by Courts of such statutory provisions. All criminal lawyers will want ready access to this book this year.” –  Bernard Robertson, New Zealand Law Journal (Review of 1st Edition)

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