Juries and judges should be told if an accused person has previous convictions, a new report has recommended.
Under current legislation the prosecution cannot rely upon previous convictions to help prove their case against an accused person.
In a new report the Scottish Law Commission said that the current law in relation to previous convictions operates in an "illogical and arbitrary manner".
It found that the present rules restricting the use of evidence that the accused has acted in a similar way on other occasions lack logic and coherence.
The report argues that it should be possible to present all relevant evidence, including that of similar previous convictions.
Patrick Layden QC, the lead commissioner on the project, said: "Evidence of how the accused has acted on another occasion is relevant to whether he has acted in a similar way in relation to the offence with which he is charged.
"It does not become irrelevant because he has been convicted on that other occasion.
"This report, if implemented, will ensure that the jury can consider all relevant information."
The Report on Similar Fact Evidence and the Moorov Doctrine does not agree with concerns that the presumption of innocence is affected by the revelation of previous convictions, when these are relevant to the current offence.
It points out that other jurisdictions, such as those in England and Wales, have rules which allow evidence of previous convictions and that such evidence was admitted as a matter of routine in Scotland until late in the nineteenth century.
The report continues: "Nor do we believe that a jury cannot give proper weight to information about an accused person's previous conduct.
"The system of trial by jury continues to command popular support, and in our view enables ordinary citizens to be usefully involved in the most serious cases of criminal conduct."
The report includes a draft Bill which would bring the Commission's recommendations into effect by replacing the present law with a "clear and coherent" statutory framework for the admission of all relevant evidence in criminal proceedings.
The Law Commission was asked to look into the issue by Scottish ministers in 2007 as a third and final project.
The recommendations of the first project, Crown Appeals, were implemented in the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.
The recommendations of the second report, Double Jeopardy, led to the enactment of the Double Jeopardy (Scotland) Act 2011 which aims to allow the retrial of suspects who may have escaped punishment in the past.