For this project, the Commission reviews existing rules of evidence around admissibility of previous convictions, similar offending and bad character. In particular, the extent to which the court is made aware of prior convictions of an accused, any allegations of similar offending by the accused and any other evidence of bad character. Hon Andrew McGechan QC, retired High Court Judge, drafting a Issues Paper to be published in 2007
The Commission is asked to review the existing law relating to the extent to which the court in a criminal trial is made aware of:
(a) the prior convictions of the accused;
(b) any other allegations of similar offending by the accused; and
(c) any other evidence of the accused’s bad character.
In the course of its review, the Commission is asked to consider:
(a) The effect of any change to the existing law brought about by the enactment of the Evidence Act 2006; and
(b) The law in other comparable jurisdictions including the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada and make proposals for any changes that are necessary and desirable.