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Lisa Dufraimont, "Limited Admissibility and Its Limitations" (2013) 46:2 UBC L Rev 241.


Evidence; limited admissibility


Among the challenges facing juries and judges in adjudicating cases is the obligation to use evidence for limited purposes. Evidence inadmissible for one purpose is frequently admissible for other purposes, a situation known as "limited admissibility". Where limited admissibility arises in jury trials, courts generally deliver limiting instructions outlining the inferences that can legitimately be drawn from the evidence and identifying prohibited lines of reasoning to be avoided. Limiting instructions represent an expedient solution to limited-admissibility problems, but they create obvious problems of their own. A thoughtful observer might suspect-as psychological studies confirm-that limiting instructions are likely to fail in their purpose of constraining jury reasoning. Jurors may not understand such instructions, and even if they do understand, they may be unable or unwilling to follow them.


This article is published and copyrighted by the UBC Law Review. The article is reprinted in the Osgoode Digital Commons with permission from the publisher.

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