LAW5159 - Evidence 506
6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL
Undergraduate Faculty of Law
Leader(s): Bob Williams (Semester One); Jonathan Clough (Semester Two)
This unit involves a critical examination of the general principles and the rules of evidence and the use of evidence law as a method of ensuring fair trials. Theoretical perspectives - reliability, libertarian, disciplinary principles; evidentiary law reform. Rules and principles governing the proof of facts in civil and criminal trials. Relevance and admissibility. Kinds of evidence. Competence and compellability. Privilege. Examination of witnesses. Disposition and character. Similar fact evidence. Options of the accused. Hearsay and exceptions to the rule. Res gestae. Confessions and admissions. Illegally obtained evidence. Corroboration. Identification. Opinion evidence.
Upon completion of the unit, students will have an understanding of general evidentiary principles. In particular, they will have developed:
- the ability to isolate principles that are fundamental to the criminal and civil process and the conduct of fair trials in the accusatorial system;
- competence in the skills of problem solving, analysis and written communication;
- the analytical and interpretive skills required to give advice in relation to evidence problems and the admissibility of particular items of evidence;
- the practical skills of presenting legal arguments, advocacy and multi-issued problem resolution in a trial context.
Assignment (2500 words): 35%
Examination (2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 65% OR Examination (3 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 100%
Three hours of lectures per week and one hour tutorial per fortnight