Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our expert legal writers, as a learning aid to help law students with their studies.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of LawTeacher.net. Any information contained in this help guide does not constitute legal advice and should be treated as educational content only.

The Rules of Evidence and the Accused at Trial | LPC Help

359 words (1 pages) LPC Help Guide

1st Jun 2020 LPC Help Guide Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law

The Rules of Evidence and the Accused at Trial

As a matter of law the defendant can at any time give evidence and he is therefore a competent witness. He is however not compellable because he has the right not to give evidence although this would of course mean that adverse inferences could be drawn by his silence.

The course of the accused evidence: The accused should be the first defence witness. Where he decides not to testify he should be made aware of the likely consequences of his silence. Adverse inferences may only be drawn where the only likely explanation for his silence is that he has no answer to the prosecution case or none that would stand up to cross examination R v Cowan Gayle and Ricardi (1995)

Good Character: If a defendant has a good character he is entitled to expect the judge to direct the jury as to the fact that he is less likely have committed the offence and his credibility as a witness.

Bad Character: this evidence is described as evidence of or a disposition towards misconduct or other reprehensible behaviour. This evidence can be admitted under the following circumstances as per s 101 a-g CJA 2003 although the judge also has the discretion to exclude the evidence on the basis of fairness:

  • all parties agree
  • the evidence is  adduced by the defendant or given in answer  to defendant’s cross examination
  • it is important explanatory evidence
  • it is relevant and important for both parties
  • it has substantial probative value
  • the defendant has attacked another person’s character

Where the judge is deciding on whether it is fair to introduce bad character evidence he will look at the similarity and gravity of past and present offences, age of previous convictions and the strength of the prosecution case. R v Hanson (2005).

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

Related Content

Jurisdictions / Tags

Content relating to: "UK Law"

UK law covers the laws and legislation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Essays, case summaries, problem questions and dissertations here are relevant to law students from the United Kingdom and Great Britain, as well as students wishing to learn more about the UK legal system from overseas.

Related Articles