Propensity Evidence, Similar Facts and the High Court
AbstractNotwithstanding that the High Court has considered the similar fact evidence rule in numerous cases over the last decade, there still remains uncertainty as to its theoretical basis and its practical application. In Pfennig v R (1995) 127 ALR 99, the High Court had yet another occasion to review the law relating to the admissibility of similar fact and propensity evidence. This article identifies the various theoretical and practical issues in the area of similar fact and propensity evidence and critically analyses the gradual resolution of those issues by the High Court culminating in the decision of Pfennig. By comparison, the approach by the English courts to the area is also discussed.
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