Course Title: Define and evaluate law of evidence

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2019

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:

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:

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

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:

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

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:

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

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Analyse the concept of relevance of evidence in relation to facts in issue and credit.

4.2 Determine and apply the appropriate test/s of relevance of evidence

4.3 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

Element:

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

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:

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

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

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

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:

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

Performance Criteria:

7.1 Describe and evaluate the reasons why a warning may be given to a jury

7.2 Describe and discuss the effect of the Evidence Act 2008 on corroboration warnings

7.3 Identify and assess the circumstances under which a judge may still give a corroboration warning

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:

9.1 Research and document the history of the development of Uniform Evidence Legislation

9.2 Research and discuss the objectives and justification for the introduction of the Evidence Act 2008 (Vic)

9.3 Identify and describe the structure and provisions of the Evidence Act 2008 (Vic) and its relationship with the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) and assess for application to practice


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

This course is comprised of one competency:

LAW5718 Define and Evaluate Law of Evidence

 

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 No.

Date

Topic:

Assessment tasks

1

8 July

Introduction: What is the Law of Evidence

 

2

15 July

Classification of Evidence

 

3

22 July

Witnesses

 

4

29 July

Relevance and Admissibility

Assessment task 1 Open book. Written answers 

5

5 August

Hearsay 

 

6

12 August

Opinion Evidence

 

 7

19 August

Credibility, Tendency and Coincidence

 

8

26 August

AssessmentAssessment Task 2: Open book Written Answers 

9

9 September

Character/ Identification

 

 10

16 September

Privilege

 

11

23 September

Competency and Compellability.

 

1230 September

 Admissions; Absence of Evidence, Warnings, and preparation of a case for trial

 

137 OctoberRevision

 

1414 OctoberFinal Assessment (date to be confirmed)

Open Book 2 hours

15

21 October

Final assessment resits  or oral questioning as required.

 

16

28 October

Resubmissions

 

17

4 November

Grade Entry

 

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

Online learning materials can be accessed by going into the RMIT web sites Online Learning Hub.

The online learning materials listed include:

  • Course outlines
  • Power point Presentations
  • Supporting Reading material
  • Industry relevant articles
  • Activities.

 

Recommended Text

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.

 

ASSESSMENT TASK 1 (Due: Week 4)

The student will need to demonstrate competency in the materials covered in the first two classes and topics of What is the law of evidence, what can be evidence and the classification of evidence. The student will be expected to satisfactorily write answers to a variety of case study, true/false and multiple choice and direct questions. This may include verbal questioning This assessment will be conducted under open book conditions and be of one and a half hours duration.  However no electronic aids of any sort may be used during the assessment. 

 

ASSESSMENT TASK 2 (Due: Week 8)

Topics 3 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, true/false and multiple choice and direct questions. This may include verbal questions and answers. This will be conducted under open book conditions. However no electronic aids of any sort may be used during the assessment. The topics to be covered will be

  • Witnesses
  • Relevance
  • Hearsay
  • Opinion 
  • Credibility, and 
  • tendency and coincidence

 

ASSESSMENT TASK 3 (Due: Week 14)

For this assessment task topics 9 to 12 will be assessed over a two hour period in class time under open book conditions. The student will be expected to satisfactorily write answers a variety of case study The student will be expected to satisfactorily write answers to a variety of case study, true/false and multiple choice and direct questions. and may include verbal questions and answers. This assessment will be conducted under open book conditions. However no electronic aids of any sort may be used during the assessment.

The topics for assessment 3 are:

  • Character,
  • Identification,
  • Privilege.
  • Compellability
  • Competence
  • Admissions
  • Absence of Evidence
  • Judges warnings
  • and Preparation of a brief for trial

 

 


Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix that maps all the assessment is available on CANVAS.

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. (hard copy and soft copy)
  • When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use the Assessment task document that includes a declaration and statement of authorship.
  • Each page of your assessment should include footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers.

 

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.   More Information:  https://www.rmit.edu.au/students/student-essentials/assessment-and-exams/assessment/extensions-of-time-for-submission-of-assessable-work   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.   More Information: https://www.rmit.edu.au/students/student-essentials/assessment-and-exams/assessment/special-consideration   Resubmissions: If you are found to be unsuccessful (Not satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) in a particular Course Assessment Task you will be allowed one resubmission.  Your teacher will provide feedback regarding what you need to do to improve and will set a new deadline for the resubmission.     If you are still not meeting the assessment requirements you must apply to your Program Manager in writing outlining the steps you will take to demonstrate competence in your course. Your submission will be considered by the Program Team and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible.     Adjustments to Assessment  In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment. For more information about the circumstances under which the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following website:  https://www.rmit.edu.au/students/student-essentials/assessment-and-exams/assessment/adjustments-to-assessment     Marking Guide (Competency):  You must demonstrate that you have all the required skills/knowledge/elements in the unit of competency you are studying.   You will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you about your progress and how you are performing.    The following grades are available for this course:
CACompetency Achieved
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for Assessment

Course Overview: Access Course Overview