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4.3.3 - Charge: Bad Character Evidence

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When to Use This Charge

This charge may be given where evidence that the accused is not of good character has been adduced under an exception to the credibility rule (and not as rebuttal evidence under s110). See Directions Under Jury Directions Act 2015 for information on when directions are required.

Alternative Charge

If character evidence has been adduced under s110, use Charge: Specific Good Character Evidence or Charge: General Good Character Evidence.


In this case you have heard evidence that NOA is a person of bad character. [1] [Describe bad character evidence].

If you accept that NOA is a person of bad character, you can use this fact when assessing the credibility of [describe sources of the accused’s evidence, e.g., "the evidence NOA gave in court" or "the statement NOA made to the police"]. [2] As a person of bad character is generally thought to be less trustworthy than other people, you may be less willing to accept that evidence than you would be if NOA was not a person of bad character.

However, you must not reason that, because NOA is a person of bad character, s/he is more likely to have committed the offence[s] charged. That kind of reasoning is prohibited. Your decision must be based only on the evidence given in the trial, not on assumptions about the kinds of people who commit crimes.


[1] This charge is drafted for use in cases where the character evidence relates to the accused. If the character evidence relates to a different witness the charge will need to be modified.

[2] If the accused has given no evidence in court, and made no out-of-court statements, this paragraph should be omitted and the charge modified accordingly.

Last updated: 1 July 2013

See Also

4.3 - Character Evidence

4.3.1 - Charge: General Good Character Evidence

4.3.2 - Charge: Specific Good Character Evidence