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Explanatory Memorandum to Criminal Justice (Evidence) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

Non-defendant’s bad character

10.Article 5 sets out the circumstances in which, outside the alleged facts of the offence and its investigation and prosecution, evidence can be given of the misconduct of a person other than a defendant in the proceedings. This might be a witness in the case or a victim but extends to any other person as well.

11.Where the prosecution and defence agree that evidence should be admitted, the leave of the court is not required. In all other cases evidence of their bad character is not to be given without the permission of the court and must meet one of three conditions:

  • That it is important explanatory evidence;

  • That it is of substantial probative value to a matter in issue and that issue is one of substantial importance in the case; or

  • That the prosecution and defence agree that the evidence should be admitted.

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