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Evidence of Bad Character

By: J R Spencer
Media of Evidence of Bad Character
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Published: 15-06-2006
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 268
ISBN: 9781841136486
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Criminal Law Library
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP : £25.00

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Loren Epson

About Evidence of Bad Character

The rule excluding evidence of the defendant's general bad character and disposition to commit the offence has been described as one of the most hallowed rules of evidence. In Makin v Attorney-General for New South Wales, Lord Sankey described it as " of the most deeply rooted and jealously guarded principles of our criminal law." In reality it is not particularly ancient, and in recent years it has been increasingly attacked. On technical grounds the body of law surrounding it has been criticised as over-complicated and inconsistent, and more radical critics have condemned it as unduly favourable to the guilty. In response to this, it was completely recast in Part II of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. This book offers a thorough analysis of the new provisions. The author, an acknowledged expert on the law of evidence, has been engaged in training lawyers and judges on the effect and scope of the new provisions.

Table Of Contents



“This is a concise, highly portable and valuable little book.” –  Benedict Mills, New Law Journal

“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

“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

“…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

“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

“Joint Review of Evidence of Bad Character and Hearsay Evidence in Criminal Proceedings
These two fine books offer a guide to the new legislation and the case law decided under it. As well as analysing the new provisions and their impact section by section, both usefully contain copies of the relevant sections of the legislation and the most significant cases, as well as some other material. With their straightforward style
and lucid explanation, they are invaluable guides to anyone trying to get to grips with these areas of the Act.

” –  Mike Redmayne, The Howard Journal, Vol 48 No 1

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