Character Evidence

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Introduction

Character evidence is evidence that invites the trier of fact to make an inference that the person is of a certain "type", thus inferring that the person acted consistently with that type of character. Character evidence can often become prejudicial to the accused and so must be taken with care.

The general exclusionary rule for character evidence is on the basis that character evidence is not probative of anything.[1]

  1. R v Vant, 2015 ONCA 481 (CanLII), at para 64 ("The principal reason that underlies this general exclusionary rule is that the evidence lacks probative value. Character traits, after all, are more dynamic than static, and vary over time and across situations and individuals.")

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