Corbett Revisited: A Fairer Approach to the Admission of an Accused's Criminal Record in Cross-Examination
Criminal Law Quarterly, Vol. 51, 2006
69 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2006
Following on from the some of the author's earlier research on the use of an accused person's criminal record in cross-examination, this article thoroughly reviews the theoretical rationales and principled application of the discretion created by the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in R. v. Corbett,  1 S.C.R. 670 which allows courts to exclude prior criminal convictions when their prejudicial effect outweighs their probative value. The author concludes that the exercise of this discretion has been highly erratic, and proposes a new approach to the admissibility of this evidence, one that recognizes the prejudicial effect of prior convictions, and their proven link to miscarriages of justice.
Keywords: corbett, discretion, evidence, criminal record, prior conviction
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