Administration of Justice Bulletin

Criminal Evidence: Character Evidence

Saturday, June 1, 2013

This bulletin explains the rules on the admissibility of character evidence in criminal trials. In criminal cases, character evidence typically only becomes an issue when the proponent seeks to introduce it to show that a person acted in conformity with that character on a particular occasion. This is often referred to as evidence of propensity. In this context, character evidence is offered as circumstantial evidence of guilt or innocence, and it constitutes substantive evidence.

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Topics - Courts and Judicial Administration