This is an extract of our Tendency And Coincidence document, which we sell as part of our Evidence Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Monash University students.
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The essential nature of evidence that has a dual function (goes to the credit of the party and also to the facts in issue) is that a party's past acts show that person to have a certain disposition or propensity to act, think or feel in a particular way. If the prior acts do not amount to misconduct, but are praiseworthy, the admissibility of the evidence proving these acts will usually depend simply upon the rules as to credibility. However if they are improper, the similar fact evidence exclusion rule must be considered Why do we have this rule? The mere wrongfulness associated with such acts suggests a disposition towards wrongdoing and this alone would cause a jury to look upon an accused with disfavour. However it is equally important that, although the disposition that these prior acts show is clearly sufficient to suggest the accused may have committed the crime charged, proof of these earlier acts is not usually sufficient to prove that an accused actually committed the crime in question. Probative value is weak, and prejudicial value is high. If it is prior proper conductr
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