BAD CHARACTER EVIDENCE
I would suggest the repeal of the so called “Bad character” provisions in sections 98 to 113 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and in particular the provisions relating to defendants.
These provisions are not in force in Scotland, and it is therefore wrong that there should be such provisions in force in England whilst not in other parts of the U.K., and a defendant’s rights should be uniform in all of the UK jurisdictions.
There have also been numerous decisions of the Court of Appeal in relation to the effects of these ridiculous provisions, and the expense to the taxpayer and waste of court time and recourses has been enormous.
The provision that previous convictions, and sometimes other so called “bad character” evidence should be adduced is wrong and prejudices the defendant without any evidence being called, so that they are more or less guilty before they go into court.
The provisions are also used by prosecutors to bolster up weak cases where the evidence on its own is insufficient to prove the defendant’s guilt.
The provision attacks the presumption of innocence and is undemocratic and unconstitutional and should be repealed to prevent serious miscarriages of justice.
Why does this idea matter?
It would restore what was a defendant’s right over many years prior to the unfair provisions being brought into force in 2004