The evidential use of "similar facts" in Scots criminal law

Fiona E. Raitt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This article traces the development of the similar fact rule in Scots law and explores its relative underdevelopment compared to English law and the law of other Commonwealth jurisdictions. Drawing on the recent House of Lords decision in R v Z1 the article suggests that the operation of a similar fact rule is considerably more limited in Scotland than elsewhere. The article acknowledges that the existence of the rule of mutual corroboration arising from the Moorov doctrine partly explains and compensates for this lack of a fully developed similar fact rule in Scots law. However, the article argues that the restricted opportunities for prosecution based on previous misconduct evidence are disadvantageous to Scots law.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)174-193
    Number of pages20
    JournalEdinburgh Law Review
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - May 2003


    • Criminal evidence
    • Comparative law
    • Similar fact evidence
    • Australia
    • Canada
    • New Zealand
    • Scotland


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