Respects of Character

18 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2020

See all articles by Greg Taylor

Greg Taylor

University of Adelaide - School of Law; University of Marburg; RMIT University - Graduate School of Business and Law

Date Written: April 21, 2020


The uniform evidence legislation, unlike the common law, allows the accused to claim a good character in a ‘particular respect’ and, if that is done, limits the Crown to rebuttal evidence relating to the ‘particular respect’. The varieties of good character evidence that may be given were already enormous, and this ‘particular respect’ idea multiplies the combinations even further by allowing, for ex-ample, not merely the accused’s lack of criminal convictions as a whole to be proved, but also his lack of convictions in any selected field. But what is a ‘respect of character’? There is no help at all in the legislation. This article will show that the problem can however be solved by reference to the already established principle that the accused cannot raise character except intentionally. It is therefore the accused’s delineation of the ‘respect’, properly understood, that defines it.

Keywords: character reference

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Taylor, Greg, Respects of Character (April 21, 2020). (2020) 44 Crim LJ 32, U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2020-34, Available at SSRN:

Greg Taylor (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Ligertwood Building
Adelaide 5005, South Australia SA 5005

University of Marburg ( email )

Universitätsstrasse 24
Marburg, D-35032

RMIT University - Graduate School of Business and Law ( email )


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