Evidence

Course code LAWS4004
Available in 2015
2015 Course Timetables

Description

Introduces students to the legal rules and principles governing the adducing of evidence and proof of facts in civil and criminal trials. Topics covered include relevance, competence and compellability, privilege, kinds of evidence, the examination of witnesses, burdens and standards of proof, illegally obtained evidence and the various exclusionary rules, such as hearsay, opinion, admissions, credibility and tendency/coincidence. The Evidence Acts 1995 (NSW) & (Cth) form the backbone to the course.

Availability

Callaghan Campus

  • Semester 2 - 2015

Learning Outcomes

1. knowledge and understanding of the principles and rules of evidence law used in the process of fact-finding in both civil and criminal litigation in New South Wales and in the Federal jurisdiction

2. an understanding of how those principles and rules of evidence law came into being.

3. some critical appreciation of the way in which the rules of evidence operate and are applied in the context of the trial process.

4. sound communication skills in the oral and written presentation of assessment tasks based on the course materials.

5. a developing ability to use legal analysis effectively in application of the relevant evidentiary principles and rules to a range of factual problems.

Content

This course will introduce students to the legal rules governing the adducing of evidence and proof of facts in civil and criminal trials. The course is structured to meet the admission requirements for practice as a legal practitioner in New South Wales and the other Australian States and Territories.
Topics covered will include relevance, kinds of evidence, competence and compellability, privileges, adducing evidence in court, the examination of witnesses, burdens and standards of proof, discretionary exclusion of evidence including illegally obtained evidence and judicial warning as to unreliable evidence. Also, the exclusionary rules relating to admissibility of evidence will be covered, namely, the rule against hearsay and its exceptions, the opinion rule, admissions and confessions, character and credibility, tendency and coincidence, and documentary evidence.
The course is based on the ""Uniform Evidence Law"" with the main focus on the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW). Reference will also be made to the counterpart Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) and particularly to where there are differences in specific provisions of the legislation.
 

Requisites

This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws and associated combined degree programs or Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and associated combined degree programs.

Assumed Knowledge

LAWS1001A, LAWS1001B, LAWS1002A, LAWS1002B, LAWS2003A, LAWS2003B, LAWS3004A, LAWS3004B, LAWS4003 (or equivalents).

Assessment Items

Participation: Group seminar participation

Presentation: Group Presentations - Continuing Mock Criminal Trial

Written Assignment: Essays/Written Assignments - Problem Solving Exercise - Mock Criminal Trial Chart

Formal Examination: Examination: Formal

Contact Hours

Lecture

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Seminar

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term