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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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Understanding Propensity Evidence

Understanding Propensity Evidence

(p.111) 6 Understanding Propensity Evidence
Character in the Criminal Trial

Mike Redmayne

Oxford University Press

Drawing on some of the cases discussed in Chapter 5 as illustrative examples, this chapter explores the inferential structure of propensity evidence: the reasoning process which links evidence of bad character to guilt. With this foundation in place, it moves on to assess the various common law admissibility tests which featured in the previous chapter. It suggests that the proper way to think about bad character evidence has often been misunderstood in both the case law and the literature. There has also been a marked tendency to elide what are, in other areas of the law, distinct issues of admissibility and sufficiency, as in the way the role of the other evidence was subsumed by the categories and integrated in judgments of ‘contextual relevance’.

Keywords:   reasoning process, bad character, character evidence, guilt, criminal behaviour, common law, admissibility tests

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