Course Title: Define and evaluate law of evidence

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2016

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:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Alana Ryan (Sessional Teacher)


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


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


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
1.4 Examine the no case to answer submission to court/s in relation to criminal cases, civil cases, and election in civil cases


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


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


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

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Evaluate and discuss the rules in relation to examination in chief
4.2 Analyse and discuss the rules of cross examination
4.3 Evaluate and apply the concept and rules of re-examination in relation to the purpose and restrictions on questions that may be asked
4.4 Identify the circumstances in which evidence is permitted to be used in rebuttal
4.5 Define and discuss the term, purpose, and procedure for Voir Dire


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


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


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


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 views
8.5 Describe and discuss the purpose and content of opening and closing addresses


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



Teaching Schedule

Week No.

Date Week Begins


Assessment tasks


July 4

Introduction: What is the Law of Evidence



July 11

Classification of Evidence


July 18




July 25

Relevance and Admissibility



August 1



August 8

Opinion Evidence

Assessment Task 1: Mid Semester Test (40%)


August 15



August 22

Tendency and Coincidence

Distribute Assessment 2: Case Study Question (10%)

MID-SEMESTER BREAK:- August 29 – September 2 inclusive


September 5



September 12




September 19

Privilege .



September 26

Admissions; Absence of Evidence, Warnings



October 3




October 10

Final Test

Assessment Task 3 – Open Book Final Test (50%)



October 17

Feedback and assessment review



October 24

Feedback and assessment review






Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

J Gans and A Palmer, Uniform Evidence (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2010).


Other Resources

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 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


Assessment Tasks


Assessment will be by means of:


Written Case Study                                                                                                 10%


Mid Semester Test (Open Book)                                                                            40%


Final Test (Open Book)                                                                                            50%    


TOTAL                                                                                                                       100%



To be deemed competent in this course, students must satisfactorily complete all assessments.


Only after competency has been achieved, your assessment will be graded according to the following mark table:






> = 80


70 - 79


60 - 69


50 - 59


Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview