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Criminal Justice Bill


Criminal Justice Bill
Part 11 — Evidence
Chapter 1 — Evidence of bad character

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                  (iii)               the identity of the person responsible for the misconduct

charged is disputed,

                         the extent to which the evidence shows or tends to show that the same

person was responsible each time.

     (4)    Except where subsection (1)(c) applies, evidence of the bad character of a

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person other than the defendant must not be given without leave of the court.

Defendants

 93    Defendant’s bad character

     (1)    In criminal proceedings evidence of the defendant’s bad character is

admissible if, but only if—

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           (a)           all parties to the proceedings agree to the evidence being admissible,

           (b)           the evidence is adduced by the defendant himself or is given in answer

to a question asked by him in cross-examination and intended to elicit

it,

           (c)           it is important explanatory evidence,

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           (d)           it is evidence of the defendant’s conviction for an offence of the same

description, or of the same category, as the one with which he is

charged,

           (e)           it is relevant to an important matter in issue between the defendant and

the prosecution,

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           (f)           it has substantial probative value in relation to an important matter in

issue between the defendant and a co-defendant,

           (g)           it is evidence to correct a false impression given by the defendant, or

           (h)           the defendant has made an attack on another person’s character.

     (2)    Sections 94 to 99 contain provision supplementing subsection (1).

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     (3)    The court must not admit evidence under subsection (1)(d), (e) or (h) if, on an

application by the defendant to exclude it, it appears to the court that the

admission of the evidence would have such an adverse effect on the fairness of

the proceedings that the court ought not to admit it.

     (4)    On an application to exclude evidence under subsection (3) the court must

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have regard, in particular, to the length of time between the matters to which

that evidence relates and the matters which form the subject of the offence

charged.

 94    “Important explanatory evidence”

For the purposes of section 93(1)(c) evidence is important explanatory evidence

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if—

           (a)           without it, the court or jury would find it impossible or difficult

properly to understand other evidence in the case, and

           (b)           its value for understanding the case as a whole is substantial.

 95    Offences “of the same description” or “of the same category”

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     (1)    For the purposes of section 93(1)(d)—

 

 

Criminal Justice Bill
Part 11 — Evidence
Chapter 1 — Evidence of bad character

    63

 

           (a)           two offences are of the same description as each other if the statement

of the offence in a written charge or indictment would, in each case, be

in the same terms;

           (b)           two offences are of the same category as each other if they belong to the

same category of offences prescribed for the purposes of this section by

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an order made by the Secretary of State.

     (2)    A category prescribed by an order under this section must consist of offences

of the same type.

     (3)    Only prosecution evidence is admissible under section 93(1)(d).

 96    “Matter in issue between the defendant and the prosecution”

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     (1)    For the purposes of section 93(1)(e) the matters in issue between the defendant

and the prosecution include—

           (a)           the question whether the defendant has a propensity to commit

offences of the kind with which he is charged, except where his having

such a propensity makes it no more likely that he is guilty of the

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offence;

           (b)           the question whether the defendant has a propensity to be untruthful,

except where it is not suggested that the defendant’s case is untruthful

in any respect.

     (2)    Only prosecution evidence is admissible under section 93(1)(e).

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 97    “Matter in issue between the defendant and a co-defendant”

     (1)    Evidence which is relevant to the question whether the defendant has a

propensity to be untruthful is admissible on that basis under section 93(1)(f)

only if the nature or conduct of his defence is such as to undermine the co-

defendant’s defence.

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     (2)    Only evidence—

           (a)           which is to be (or has been) adduced by the co-defendant, or

           (b)           which a witness is to be invited to give (or has given) in cross-

examination by the co-defendant,

            is admissible under section 93(1)(f).

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 98    “Evidence to correct a false impression”

     (1)    For the purposes of section 93(1)(g)—

           (a)           the defendant gives a false impression if he is responsible for the

making of an express or implied assertion which is apt to give the court

or jury a false or misleading impression about the defendant;

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           (b)           evidence to correct such an impression is evidence which has probative

value in correcting it.

     (2)    A defendant is treated as being responsible for the making of an assertion if—

           (a)           the assertion is made by the defendant in the proceedings (whether or

not in evidence given by him),

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           (b)           the assertion was made by the defendant—

                  (i)                 on being questioned under caution, before charge, about the

offence with which he is charged, or

 

 

Criminal Justice Bill
Part 11 — Evidence
Chapter 1 — Evidence of bad character

    64

 

                  (ii)                on being charged with the offence or officially informed that he

might be prosecuted for it,

                         and evidence of the assertion is given in the proceedings,

           (c)           the assertion is made by a witness called by the defendant,

           (d)           the assertion is made by any witness in cross-examination in response

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to a question asked by the defendant that is intended to elicit it, or is

likely to do so, or

           (e)           the assertion was made by any person out of court, and the defendant

adduces evidence of it in the proceedings.

     (3)    A defendant who would otherwise be treated as responsible for the making of

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an assertion shall not be so treated if, or to the extent that, he withdraws it or

disassociates himself from it.

     (4)    Where it appears to the court that a defendant, by means of his conduct (other

than the giving of evidence) in the proceedings, is seeking to give the court or

jury an impression about himself that is false or misleading, the court may if it

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appears just to do so treat the defendant as being responsible for the making of

an assertion which is apt to give that impression.

     (5)    In subsection (4) “conduct” includes appearance or dress.

     (6)    Evidence is admissible under section 93(1)(g) only if it goes no further than is

necessary to correct the false impression.

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     (7)    Only prosecution evidence is admissible under section 93(1)(g).

 99    “Attack on another person’s character”

     (1)    For the purposes of section 93(1)(h) a defendant makes an attack on another

person’s character if—

           (a)           he adduces evidence attacking the other person’s character,

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           (b)           he (or any legal representative appointed under section 38(4) of the

Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 (c. 23) to cross-examine

a witness in his interests) asks questions in cross-examination that are

intended to elicit such evidence, or are likely to do so, or

           (c)           evidence is given of an imputation about the other person made by the

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defendant—

                  (i)                 on being questioned under caution, before charge, about the

offence with which he is charged, or

                  (ii)                on being charged with the offence or officially informed that he

might be prosecuted for it.

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     (2)    In subsection (1) “evidence attacking the other person’s character” means

evidence to the effect that the other person—

           (a)           has committed an offence (whether a different offence from the one

with which the defendant is charged or the same one), or

           (b)           has behaved, or is disposed to behave, in a way that, in the opinion of

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the court, might be viewed with disapproval by a reasonable person;

            and “imputation about the other person” means an assertion to that effect.

     (3)    Only prosecution evidence is admissible under section 93(1)(h).

 

 

Criminal Justice Bill
Part 11 — Evidence
Chapter 1 — Evidence of bad character

    65

 

 100   Stopping the case where evidence contaminated

     (1)    If on a defendant’s trial before a judge and jury for an offence—

           (a)           evidence of his bad character has been admitted under any of

paragraphs (c) to (h) of section 93(1), and

           (b)           the court is satisfied at any time after the close of the case for the

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prosecution that—

                  (i)                 the evidence is contaminated, and

                  (ii)                the contamination is such that, considering the importance of

the evidence to the case against the defendant, his conviction of

the offence would be unsafe,

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                   the court must either direct the jury to acquit the defendant of the offence or, if

it considers that there ought to be a retrial, discharge the jury.

     (2)    Where—

           (a)           a jury is directed under subsection (1) to acquit a defendant of an

offence, and

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           (b)           the circumstances are such that, apart from this subsection, the

defendant could if acquitted of that offence be found guilty of another

offence,

                   the defendant may not be found guilty of that other offence if the court is

satisfied as mentioned in subsection (1)(b) in respect of it.

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     (3)    If—

           (a)           a jury is required to determine under section 4A(2) of the Criminal

Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 (c. 84) whether a person charged on an

indictment with an offence did the act or made the omission charged,

           (b)           evidence of the person’s bad character has been admitted under any of

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paragraphs (c) to (h) of section 93(1), and

           (c)           the court is satisfied at any time after the close of the case for the

prosecution that—

                  (i)                 the evidence is contaminated, and

                  (ii)                the contamination is such that, considering the importance of

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the evidence to the case against the person, a finding that he did

the act or made the omission would be unsafe,

                   the court must either direct the jury to acquit the defendant of the offence or, if

it considers that there ought to be a rehearing, discharge the jury.

     (4)    This section does not prejudice any other power a court may have to direct a

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jury to acquit a person of an offence or to discharge a jury.

     (5)    For the purposes of this section a person’s evidence is contaminated where—

           (a)           as a result of an agreement or understanding between the person and

one or more others, or

           (b)           as a result of the person being aware of anything alleged by one or more

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others whose evidence may be, or has been, given in the proceedings,

                   the evidence is false or misleading in any respect, or is different from what it

would otherwise have been.

 101   Offences committed by defendant when a child

Section 16(2) and (3) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 (c. 37)

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(offences committed by person under 14 disregarded for purposes of evidence

relating to previous convictions) shall cease to have effect.

 

 

 
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