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Character in the Criminal Trial$
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Mike Redmayne

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228898

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228898.001.0001

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Propensity’s History

Propensity’s History

English Law before the Criminal Justice Act 2003

(p.91) 5 Propensity’s History
Character in the Criminal Trial

Mike Redmayne

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the doctrinal history of propensity evidence, covering the development of the common law up until its replacement by the provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA). An understanding of events prior to the CJA 2003 puts us in a better position to evaluate the impact of the Act and to assess whether various criticisms of it — which inevitably assume that there is a better way of going about things — are valid. For this reason, the analysis focuses on the situation just prior to the introduction of the CJA. The case law is also significant because it provides a rich set of illustrations of situations in which questions about the admissibility of propensity evidence arise, and of how courts have responded.

Keywords:   propensity evidence, common law, criminal law, doctrinal history, case law

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