Course Title: Define and evaluate law of evidence

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

Course Code: LAW5718

Course Title: Define and evaluate law of evidence

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6141 - Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Contact: Robert Sheen

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5759

Course Contact Email: robert.sheen@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

John Marshall

john.marshall@rmit.edu.au

 

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

None

Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to employ rules of evidence and procedure as they apply to civil and criminal trials, and to analyse and evaluate evidence available in connection with the preparation of a case for trial, in order to support the work of a legal office, practice or associated context.

This unit supports the work of personnel engaged in the operation of a legal office, insurance company or associated fields within public and/or corporate sectors.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21635 Define and evaluate law of evidence

Element:

1.Analyse the concept of evidence and identify court procedures relating to evidence

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Review the rule against hearsay, including exceptions to the rule, in relation to: • first-hand hearsay • business records • electronic communications • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional laws and customs • reputation • interlocutory proceedings 6.2 Review the rule excluding opinion evidence, including exceptions to the rule, in relation to: • evidence relevant for a purpose other than as opinion evidence • lay opinions • expert opinions – opinions based on specialised knowledge • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional laws and customs

Element:

2.Determine and analyse the standard of proof and burden of proof in civil and criminal cases, and specify types of presumptions

Performance Criteria:

6.8 Determine and review the admissibility of identification evidence in a criminal trial 6.9 Analyse and assess the nature and context of privileges in relation to evidence 6.10 Review the nature of judicial discretion to exclude evidence, including and with reference to: • general discretion to limit or exclude • prejudicial evidence in criminal proceedings • improperly obtained evidence • cautioning of suspected offenders

Element:

3.Analyse and apply the rule relating to relevance of evidence

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Compare and contrast the terms competent and compellable and distinguish a competent witness from a compellable witness. 5.2 Determine those persons who may not be competent and compellable witnesses 5.3 Identify and discuss the privileges that may exempt a person from answering questions.

Element:

4.Analyse and evaluate the rules governing examination of evidence in the conduct of a civil or criminal trial

Performance Criteria:

6.3 Review the rules of evidence relating to admissions with reference to: • exclusion of evidence of admissions • reliability of admissions by defendants • admissions made with authority • proof of admissions • evidence of silence 6.4 Determine admissibility of evidence of judgments and convictions. 6.5 Determine the admissibility of evidence relating to tendency and coincidence is determined 6.6 Analyse the concept of credibility of a witness with reference to: • admissibility of evidence as to credibility • examination and cross-examination of witnesses • credibility of persons who are not witnesses • persons with specialised knowledge 6.7 Determine and assess the rules of evidence relating to the character of an accused person with reference to: • character in the context of the rules of evidence • relevance of character evidence • similar fact exception rule • evidence about character of the accused and co-accused • cross-examination of character of accused or co-accused

Element:

5.Determine the rules relating to competence and compellability of witnesses

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Define and illustrate the term and general nature of evidence 1.2 Identify and describe the real, oral, direct, circumstantial, original, hearsay, primary, secondary, and, documentary types of evidence 1.3 Discuss the rationale behind the rules and court procedures dealing with evidence

Element:

6.Analyse and apply statutory and common law rules which provide the basis for evidence to be excluded

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Specify the standard of proof in civil and criminal cases 2.2 Specify the standard of proof applicable to determining the admissibility of evidence 2.3 Establish the importance of the burden of proof in civil and criminal cases 2.4 Determine and describe the specific elements, facts in issue and possible defences related to area/s of substantive law 2.5 Identify and debate the types of presumptions and their effects 2.6 Explain the phrase facts that do not have to be proved and analyse its application

Element:

7.Determine the circumstances under which a trial judge may give warnings to a jury

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Analyse the concept of relevance of evidence in relation to facts in issue and credit 3.2 Determine and apply the appropriate test/s of relevance of evidence 3.3 Identify and compare evidence that is directly relevant with that which is indirectly relevant 3.4 Examine and apply the rules for: relevance of evidence; provisional relevance of evidence, and, inferences to relevance of evidence

Element:

8.Determine and evaluate the main considerations to be exercised by a legal practitioner when preparing a case for trial

Performance Criteria:

8.1 Determine the fundamentals in the preparation of a case 8.2 Identify the important elements of collection, form and content, in the gathering of proof of evidence and assess for application 8.3 Identify the process in compelling the production of evidence and evaluate for application 8.4 Determine the processes for tendering types of evidence, such as: documents; photographs; maps and plans; real evidence, and view

Element:

9.Explore and comply with the Victorian Uniform Evidence Act

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Analyse the concept of relevance of evidence in relation to facts in issue and credit.4.22Determine and apply the appropriate test/s of relevance of evidence 4.3.3 Identify and compare evidence that is directly relevant with that which is indirectly relevant 4.4 Examine and apply the rules for: relevance of evidence; provisional relevance of evidence, and, inferences to relevance of evidence


Learning Outcomes



 


Details of Learning Activities

A range of learning activities are planned for this course including self-paced and collaborative classroom-based activities.

The self-paced activities will be delivered through various technology platforms and may include your contribution to wikis and discussion threads, reflective journals, quizzes and interactive sessions.

The collaborative classroom-based activities will include group discussions, group problem-solving activities and opportunities to practice your skills in a simulated/real workplace environment.

We expect you to participate and contribute in all scheduled learning activities.
 


Teaching Schedule

Induction Session

Prior to training commencement a program level induction session will be conducted that comprises the following:

  • Program overview and requirements
  • MyRMIT/Blackboard
  • Overview of assessment requirements
  • Pre-Training Review including:
    • Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers
    • Assessment of current skills and knowledge
  • Competency/Grading Criteria
  • Plagiarism
  • Appeals
  • Extensions
  • Feedback
  • Privacy
  • Submission requirements
  • Resubmission policy
  • Where to get support
  • Student responsibilities 

 The Teaching Schedule for this course is as follows. (Please note that this schedule is subject to change)

week/topicWeek CommencingTopics                                                             Assessment   
13 July 2017 What is the law of evidence 
210 July Classification of evidence and the need to convince the court of every element 
317 July Presentation of a case before the court and the examination of witnesses. 
424 July Relevance and admissibility of certain types of evidence. 
531 July Admissibility of hearsay evidence   
67 August Admissibility of Opinion evidence.  
714 August The use of credibility evidence  
821 August Assessment of topics 1 to 7Open-book written assessment under supervised conditions
 28 August Mid semester break 
904 September  The use of tendency and coincidence evidence 
1011 September The use and function of character evidence. 
1118 September  Use of identification evidence 
1225 September  Privilege. What is it and when may it be claimed? 
1302 October  Admissions and confessions. Obtaining and admissibility in proceedings. 
1409 October Preparation of a brief for trial, selection of counsel, ensuring witnesses attend. 
1516 October Review and revision 
1623 October Assessment of topics 9 to 14*Open-book written assessment under supervised conditions
1730 OctoberFeedback / Resits (as required) 
   * The assessment date is to be confirmed and will be set taking into account student assessment in other courses. 

The nominal hours associated with this course are a guide only and represent the total teaching time and student effort required to successfully complete the course. This may include not only scheduled classes but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


References


Other Resources

The prescribed text for this course is:

Gans and Palmer. Uniform Evidence, 2nd Edition, Oxford press. (Copies are available from The University of Melbourne Cooperative Bookshop, Gratten Street, Carlton.)


Overview of Assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

In order to demonstrate competency in this unit, you must provide evidence of:

• following correct procedures for the evaluation and submission of evidence in a criminal or civil case
• analysis of standard of proof and burden of proof in civil and criminal cases
• evaluation of the rules governing examination in chief, cross examination and re-examination
• determination of the rules relating to competence and compellability of witnesses
• knowledge and interpretation of legal terminology and fundamental concepts relevant to types of evidence and the law of evidence
• knowledge and application of the various rules of evidence and exceptions to such rules
• knowledge of Federal and State legislation and provisions relevant to Law of Evidence
• analysis and evaluation of evidence available in connection with the preparation of a case for trial

Context for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

• activities are related to a legal practice context
• activities are related to laws, regulations and procedures currently operating across the jurisdictions relevant to this qualification

You are advised that you are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate your assessment work to your teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.


Feedback

Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions. You are encouraged to ask and answer questions during class time and online sessions so that you can obtain feedback on your understanding of the concepts and issues being discussed.

You should take note of all feedback received and use this information to improve your learning effectiveness and final performance in the course.

Finally, you can email or arrange an appointment with your teacher to gain more feedback on your progress.
 


Assessment Tasks

 

The assessments for this course have been designed to allow participants to apply their learning to particular simulated work scenarios and demonstrate their competence in a variety of ways.

TASK 1 Week beginning 21 August 2017. Topics 1 to 7 will be assessed over a two hour period in class time. The student will be expected to satisfactorily write answers to a variety of case study and direct questions. This will be conducted under open book conditions.

TASK 2 Week beginning 23 October 2017 ( to be confirmed and subject to assessment in other courses.)

For this assessment task topics 9 to 14 will be assessed over a two hour period in class time. The student will be expected to satisfactorily write answers a variety of case study and direct questions. This assessment will be conducted under open book conditions. However no electronic aids of any sort may be used during the assessment.

Both assessments carry equal weighting and you must satisfactorily complete all assessment tasks in order to achieve competency.


Assessment Matrix

Topics 1 to 7 will be assessed in week 8 and topics 9 to 14 will be assessed at the end of the course.

Other Information

Submission Requirements

You should:

• Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date.
• Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks (both hard copy and soft copy).
• Use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship when you submit work for assessment at RMIT University. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you must declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of each assessment task is available on Blackboard.
• Include a footer (appearing on each page of your assessment) with your name, student number, assessment title, course code, course title and page numbers. For example, Callie Harvey, 324567, Task 2, OHS2345C Ensure safe workplace, Page 1 of 10.


Late Submission Procedures

You are required to submit assessment items and/or ensure performance based assessment is completed by the due dates.

If you are prevented from submitting an assessment item on time, by circumstances outside your control, you may apply in advance to your teacher for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days. For more Information go to: http://www.rmit.edu.au/students/assessment/extension

The application form may be obtained from: http://mams.rmit.edu.au/seca86tti4g4z.pdf

Where an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for Special Consideration. Applications for Special Consideration must be submitted no later than two working days after the assessment task deadline or scheduled examination. For more Information go to: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=g43abm17hc9w

The application form may be obtained from: http://mams.rmit.edu.au/8a5dgcaqvaes1.pdf


Resubmissions (VET Programs):

If your Course Assessment Task is assessed as not yet satisfactory, you will be allowed one resubmission opportunity only. Your teacher will provide feedback detailing what you need to do in order to satisfactorily complete that task, and will set a new deadline for the resubmission. The highest score you may receive if your resubmission is deemed satisfactory is 50% of the total marks allocated for that task.

If your task is still deemed to be not yet satisfactory then you must apply in writing to your Program Manager outlining the steps you will take to demonstrate competence in that course. Your submission will be considered by the Program Team and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as practical.


Adjustments to Assessment

In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment. For more information about the circumstances under which an adjustment to the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following website: http://rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=7usdbki1fjf31


Marking Guide (Competency):

You must demonstrate through your performance in the Course Assessment Tasks that you have all the required skills and knowledge as specified in the unit of competency (course) you are studying,

Your submitted assessments are the evidence used to determine if you have met all critical aspects of the assessments, and if any critical aspects have not been met, then you cannot be deemed competent in this course.

On each assessment task you will receive feedback against the competency requirements for that task, and the outcome of the task will be recorded as either satisfactory (all requirements have been met) or not yet satisfactory (one or more requirements has not yet been met).

Only when all assessment tasks have been assessed as satisfactory will you be deemed competent in this course.


Marking Guide (Grading)

Only after achieving competency in this course will you receive a grade corresponding to your level of performance in the course. 

The reported Final Grade will be one of the following:

CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved – Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for assessment

Further details regarding the application of the grading criteria will be provided by your teacher.
 

Course Overview: Access Course Overview