Evidence of propensity

40 Propensity rule

(1)

In this section and sections 41 to 43, propensity evidence

(a)

means evidence that tends to show a person’s propensity to act in a particular way or to have a particular state of mind, being evidence of acts, omissions, events, or circumstances with which a person is alleged to have been involved; but

(b)

does not include evidence of an act or omission that is—

(i)

one of the elements of the offence for which the person is being tried; or

(ii)

the cause of action in the civil proceeding in question.

(2)

A party may offer propensity evidence in a civil or criminal proceeding about any person.

(3)

However, propensity evidence about—

(a)

a defendant in a criminal proceeding may be offered only in accordance with section 41 or 42 or 43, whichever section is applicable; and

(b)

a complainant in a sexual case in relation to the complainant’s sexual experience, sexual disposition, or sexual reputation may be offered only in accordance with sections 44 to 44A.

(4)

Evidence that is solely or mainly relevant to veracity is governed by the veracity rules set out in section 37 and, accordingly, this section does not apply to evidence of that kind.

Section 40(1)(b)(i): amended, on 21 December 2021, by section 7(1) of the Sexual Violence Legislation Act 2021 (2021 No 60).

Section 40(1)(b)(ii): amended, on 21 December 2021, by section 7(2) of the Sexual Violence Legislation Act 2021 (2021 No 60).

Section 40(3)(b): replaced, on 21 December 2021, by section 7(3) of the Sexual Violence Legislation Act 2021 (2021 No 60).