Course Title: Law of Evidence

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2008

Course Code: JUST5009

Course Title: Law of Evidence

School: 650T TAFE Business

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6070 - Advanced Diploma of Business (Legal Practice)

Course Contact : John Marshall

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5453

Course Contact Email:j.marshall@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 51

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

LAW5040 Legal Process [VBM898]

Course Description

This module covers concept and nature of evidence, standard and burden of proof, no case to answer submissions, examination of witnesses, relevance of evidence, hearsay evidence, competence and compellability of witness, opinion evidence, evidence of character, corroboration, preparation for trial and Evidence Act 1995 (Commonwealth).


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBM897 Law Of Evidence


Learning Outcomes


1. Analyse and define the concept and general nature of evidence, and illustrate the different types of evidence and court procedures relating to evidence.
2. Determine and analyse the standard of proof and burden of proof in civil and criminal cases, and specify types of presumptions.
3. Define and assess a ‘no case to answer’ submission to the court and examine the grounds of making such a submission.
4. Analyse and evaluate the rules governing examination in chief, cross examination and re-examination, and establish the procedures in the conduct of a civil or criminal trial.
5. Analyse the rule relating to relevance of evidence.
6. Identify hearsay evidence and determine the rule excluding hearsay evidence and the exceptions to that rule.
7. Determine the rules relating to competence and compellability of witnesses in relation to case study material.
8. Determine the rule excluding opinion evidence as applied to case studies.
9. Determine and assess the rules of evidence relating to the character of an accused person in relation to case study material.
10. Assess and determine the circumstance under which corroborating evidence is required.
11. Determine and evaluate the main considerations to be exercised by a legal practitioner when preparing a case for trial.
12. Determine and evaluate the structure and provisions of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth)


Details of Learning Activities

Students will study Law of Evidence theory and skills in class sessions and through prescribed exercises and assessment work. The concepts will also be explored through the investigation of appropriate real world and simulated environments.


Teaching Schedule

Weekly Schedule

Week Beginning  
Week 1 – 11th Feb What is the Law of Evidence? 
Week 2 – 18th Feb Convincing the court 
Week 3 – 25th Feb Presentation of a case and "no case to answer" 
Week 4 – 3rd Mar Examination in chief 
Week 5 – 10th Mar Cross-examination and re-examinationMon public holiday (Labour Day)
Week 6 – 17th Mar Competence and compellability of witnessesAssignment due 30%
20th to 26th March Mid Semester Break  (Student Vacation) 
Week 7 – 31st Mar Relevance and the rule against hearsay 
Week 8 – 7th April Exceptions to the hearsay rule - admissions and confessions 
Week 9 – 14th April Exceptions to the hearsay rule 
Week 10 – 21st April Opinion evidence 
Week 11 – 28th April Pre-seen Case StudyPre-seen Case Study Test
(1 hour – closed book) 30%
Week 12 – 5th May Evidence of Character 
Week 13 – 12th May Evidence of Character 
Week 14 – 19th May Corroboration and Preparation of a Case 
Week 15 – 26th May Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) 
Week 16 – 2th June Final TestFinal Test (1.5 hours –
open book) 40%
Week 17 – 9th June Deferred assessment and student consultations (FT students - Practical placement) 
Week 18 – 16th June Student feedback and review of assessment (FT students - Practical placement) 


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

McNicol S and Mortimer D, Evidence 3rd ed (Sydney: LexisNexis Butterworths 2005)


References

Arenson K.J & Bagaric M, Rules of Evidence in Australia: Text and Cases 2nd ed Sydney: LexisNexis Butterworths 2007

Arenson K.J & Bagaric M, Understanding Evidence Sydney: LexisNexis Butterworths 2002

Gans J & Palmer A,  Australian Principles of Evidence 2nd ed Sydney: Cavendish Publishing Australia 2004

Heydon JD, Cross on Evidence 7th Aust ed Sydney: LexisNexis Butterworths, 2004

Hunter J, Cameron C & Henning T, Litigation I: Civil Procedure 7th ed Sydney: LexisNexis Butterworths 2005

Hunter J, Cameron C & Henning T, Litigation II: Evidence and Criminal Process 7th ed Sydney: LexisNexis Butterworths 2005

Ligertwood A, Australian Evidence 4th ed Sydney: LexisNexis Butterworths 2004

Waight P & Williams R, Evidence: Commentary and Materials 7th ed Sydney: LawBook Co 2005


Other Resources

Legislation (all Acts available online)

Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)
Evidence Act 1958 (Vic)
Evidence Act 1995 (Cth)
Juries Act 2000 (Vic)

Online Resources

Australian Law Reports
Victorian Law Reports
Cross on Evidence on LexisNexis AU
(http://www.lexisnexis.com/au/legal) Access via the RMIT library Search it page (http://www.rmit.edu.au/library/searchit)
Austlii (http://www.austlii.edu.au)
Victorian Law Today (http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au)


Overview of Assessment

Assessment will consist of written tests and an assignment.


Assessment Tasks

Assignment                       30%
Pre-seen case study test
(1 hour – closed book)       30%
Final Test
(1.5 hours – open book)     40%


Assessment Matrix

 Learning Outcomes Assignment Pre-seen Case Study Final Test
 1.  Analyse and define the concept and general nature of evidence, and illustrate the different types of evidence and court procedures relating to evidence. X X X
 2.  Determine and analyse the standard of proof and burden of proof in civil and criminal cases, and specify types of presumptions.  X X
 3.  Define and assess a ’no case to answer’ submission to the court and examine the grounds of making such a submission.  X X
 4.  Analyse and evaluate the rules governing examination in chief, cross examination and re-examination, and establish the procedures in the conduct of a civil or criminal trial. X   X
 5.  Analyse the rule relating to relevance of evidence.  X X
 6.  Identify hearsay evidence and determine the rule excluding hearsay evidence and the exceptions to that rule.  X X
 7.  Determine the rules relating to competence and compellability of witnesses in relation to case study material.   X
 8.  Determine the rule excluding opinion evidence as applied to case studies.   X
 9.  Determine and assess the rules of evidence relating to the character of an accused person in relation to case study material.   X
 10.  Assess and determine the circumstance under which corroborating evidence is required.   X
 11.  Determine and evaluate the main considerations to be exercised by a legal practitioner when preparing a case for trial.   X
 12.  Determine and evaluate the structure and provisions of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth)   X

Other Information

The complete syllabus for the Law of Evidence is on the course site on the RMIT Learning Hub at http://www.rmit.edu.au/online  Please refer to it for details of the learning outcomes and assessment criteria.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview