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LORDS AMENDMENT

114Before Clause 90, Insert the following new Clause— "Evidence of bad character


    (1) The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (c. 60) ("the 1984 Act") is amended as follows.


    (2) After section 82 of the 1984 Act (Part VIII—interpretation) insert—


    "PART VIII A


    EVIDENCE OF BAD CHARACTER


    82A Bad character


References in this Part to evidence of a person's bad character are references to evidence which shows that—
(a) he has committed an offence, or
(b) he has behaved, or is disposed to behave, in a way that, in the opinion of the court, would be viewed with disapproval by a reasonable person. 82B Requirement of leave


    (1) In criminal proceedings, evidence of a person's bad character is admissible only with leave of the court, unless the evidence—


(a) has to do with the alleged facts of the offence with which the defendant is charged, or
(b) is evidence of misconduct in connection with the investigation or prosecution of that offence. (2) This section does not apply in relation to an item of evidence if—


(a) all parties to the proceedings agree to the evidence being admissible, or
(b) in the case of evidence of the defendant's bad character, 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. 82C Non-defendant's bad character


In the case of evidence of the bad character of a person other than the defendant, the court is not to give leave under section 82B unless the evidence falls within section 82D or 82E.

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82D Evidence with explanatory value


Evidence falls within this section 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. 82E Evidence going to a matter in issue


    (1) Evidence falls within this section if it has substantial probative value in relation to a matter which—


(a) is a matter in issue in the proceedings, and
(b) is of substantial importance in the context of the case as a whole. (2) In assessing the probative value of evidence for the purposes of this section, the court must have regard to the following factors (and to any others it considers relevant)—


(a) the nature and number of the events, or other things, to which the evidence relates;
(b) when those events or things are alleged to have happened or existed;
(c) where—
(i) the evidence is evidence of a person's misconduct, and
(ii) it is suggested that the evidence has probative value by reason of similarity between that misconduct and other alleged misconduct, the nature and extent of the similarities and the dissimilarities between each of the alleged instances of misconduct;


(d) where—
(i) the evidence is evidence of a person's misconduct,
(ii) it is suggested that that person is also responsible for the misconduct charged, and
(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.


    (3) In subsection (2)(d) "misconduct charged" means the misconduct constituting the offence with which the defendant is charged.


    82F Defendant's bad character


In the case of evidence of the defendant's bad character, the court is not to give leave under section 82B, unless the evidence falls within section 82G, 82H, 82I, 82J or 82K. 82G Evidence with explanatory value


    (1) Evidence falls within this section if the following three conditions are met.


    (2) The first condition is that, without the evidence, the court or jury would find it impossible or difficult properly to understand other evidence in the case.


    (3) The second condition is that the value of the evidence for understanding the case as a whole is substantial.


    (4) The third condition is that the court is satisfied—


(a) that, in all the circumstances of the case, the evidence carries no risk of prejudice to the defendant, or

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(b) that the value of the evidence for understanding the case as a whole is such that, taking account of the risk of prejudice, the interests of justice nevertheless require the evidence to be admissible. 82H Evidence going to a matter in issue


    (1) Evidence falls within this section if the following two conditions are met.


    (2) The first condition is that the evidence has substantial probative value in relation to a matter which—


(a) is a matter in issue in the proceedings, and
(b) is of substantial importance in the context of the case as a whole. (3) The second condition is that the court is satisfied—


(a) that, in all the circumstances of the case, the evidence carries no risk of prejudice to the defendant, or
(b) that, taking account of the risk of prejudice, the interests of justice nevertheless require the evidence to be admissible in view of—
(i) how much probative value it has in relation to the matter in issue,
(ii) what other evidence has been, or can be, given on that matter, and
(iii) how important that matter is in the context of the case as a whole. (4) In determining whether the two conditions are met, the court must have regard to the factors listed in section 5(2) (and to any others it considers relevant).


    (5) For the purposes of this section, whether the defendant has a propensity to be untruthful is not to be regarded as a matter in issue in the proceedings.


    (6) Only prosecution evidence can fall within this section.


    82I Evidence going to credibility


    (1) This section applies only where—


(a) the defendant makes an attack on a person's character, and
(b) the effect of the attack is to suggest, or to support a suggestion, that the person has a propensity to be untruthful. (2) For the purposes of this section, a defendant makes an attack on a person's character where—


(a) he adduces evidence of the person's bad character, other than—
(i) evidence that has to do with the alleged facts of the offence with which the defendant is charged, or
(ii) evidence of misconduct in connection with the investigation or prosecution of that offence,
(b) he asks questions in cross-examination that are intended to elicit evidence of the kind referred to in paragraph (a), or
(c) evidence is given of an assertion made about the person by the 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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and the assertion is such that, if it were made in evidence, the evidence containing the assertion would be evidence of the kind referred to in paragraph (a).


    (3) Evidence falls within this section if the following three conditions are met.


    (4) The first condition is that the evidence has substantial probative value in showing that the defendant has a propensity to be untruthful.


    (5) The second condition is that, without the evidence, the court or jury would get an inaccurate impression of the defendant's propensity to be untruthful in comparison with that of the other person.


    (6) The third condition is that the court is satisfied—


(a) that, in all the circumstances of the case, the evidence carries no risk of prejudice to the defendant, or
(b) that, taking account of the risk of prejudice, the interests of justice nevertheless require the evidence to be admissible in view of—
(i) how much probative value it has in showing that the defendant has a propensity to be untruthful,
(ii) what other evidence has been, or can be, given on that matter, and
(iii) how important it is, in the context of the case as a whole, to prevent the impression mentioned in subsection (5). (7) In determining whether the three conditions are met the court must have regard to the following factors (and to any others it considers relevant)—


(a) the nature and number of the events, or other things, to which the defendant's attack relates and of those to which the evidence in question (the responding evidence) relates;
(b) when those events or things are alleged to have happened or existed;
(c) how important is the defendant's propensity to be untruthful, and that of the other person, in the context of the prosecution case and of the defence case;
(d) in a case where this section applies by virtue of subsection (2)(b), whether or not the evidence intended to be elicited is actually given;
(e) how inaccurate the impression mentioned in subsection (5) would be;
(f) where the responding evidence is of a spent conviction, the fact that the conviction is spent;
(g) any risk that admitting the responding evidence would be confusing or misleading, or would unduly prolong the proceedings. (8) Only prosecution evidence can fall within this section.


    82J Evidence to correct false impression


    (1) This section applies only where the defendant 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.


    (2) Evidence falls within this section if the following two conditions are met.


    (3) The first condition is that the evidence has substantial probative value in correcting the false or misleading impression.


    (4) The second condition is that the court is satisfied—


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