This is an extract of our Character And Credibility document, which we sell as part of our Evidence Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Monash University students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Evidence Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Character and Credibility Identify the evidence as character and/or credibility evidence
1. Character evidence - regards whether one has a tendency to act, think or feel in a particular way on continuous occasions. Inherent in the person and distinguished from reputation Melbourne v R
? Generally, evidence of good character is admissible, and evidence of bad character is only allowed exceptionally
? Character evidence is often used to impugn credit
2. Credibility evidence - regards a witness' likelihood to tell the truth
If credibility evidence
1. What is credibility evidence?
a. 101A Credibility evidence is evidence relevant only to the credibility of the witness or person that (a) is relevant only because it affects the assessment of the credibility of the witness or person; or (credibility of a witness means the credibility of any part or all of the evidence of the witness, and includes the witnesses ability to observe/remember facts and events which they are giving evidence about 102) (b) is relevant (i) because it affects the assessment of the credibility of the witness or person; and (ii) for some other purpose for which it is not admissible
2. If it is credibility evidence, apply the credibility rule.
? Section 102 EA: Evidence solely relating to credit, or only admissible to credit, is disallowed
? Remember, if the evidence goes to issue, the credibility rule doesn't apply e.g. evidence that a witness was not present at the scene of an accident when he says he was goes to both credit and a fact in issue
? But clearly excludes evidence of any good character, disposition, and reputation of a witness adduced during examination in chief of that witness or from another witness.
? Such evidence is excluded as a practical matter to limit collateral issues
? In the same sense, can't adduce evidence to ruin someone's credibility (unless they are a hostile witness)
3. Exception for prior consistent statements 108(3) a. At common law, it is generally not permissible to bring evidence of a statement made on another occasion in conformation of witness testimony Corke v Corke v Cork b. During re-examination or examination in chief: Under the EA, prior consistent statement will generally breach the credibility rule except if 108(3) evidence of a prior inconsistent statement has been admitted; or it has or will be suggested that witness evidence was fabricated or re-constructed and the court gives leave Nominal Defendant v Clements
4. Exception if the evidence is adduced in cross-examination and leave is given apply s103 and s104
? 104(2) In a criminal proceedings, an accused must not be cross-examined about a matter that is relevant to their credibility without leave o Must apply 192, 135 or 137 (see below) o 104(3) Leave is not required if the witness was biased, made a prior inconsistent statement, or was unable to be aware of or recall matters to which the evidence relates o 104(4) Leave must not be given unless the defendant has already admitted evidence that solely regarded a prosecution witness' credibility and tends to prove a prosecution witness is untruthful o Doesn't include evidence of conduct in relation to the events in relation to which the D is being prosecuted 104(5)
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