This course introduces you to the sources of evidence law and fundamental principles of evidence law including burdens and standards of proof; the presumption of innocence; relevance; probative value; admissibility, weight, judicial notice, illegally obtained evidence; judicial discretion; judicial directions; judicial warnings; corroboration and public policy. You will examine the rules about oral, documentary and real evidence including the competence and compellability of witnesses; credibility of witnesses; examination of witnesses during the trial process; the role of views; and how to prove documents and real evidence. You will also examine the rules excluding evidence and the exceptions to those rules, for example, privileged, hearsay, implied admissions, circumstantial, similar fact, coincidence, tendency (disposition) evidence, character and opinion. The course will assist you to understand the legal rules of evidence relating to criminal and civil trials.
|Lecture – On campus lectures - 2 hours in weeks 1-6 and 8-13.||2hrs||Week 1||12 times|
|Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus and/or online tutorial - 1 hour in weeks 2-6 and 8-13.||1hr||Week 2||11 times|
Sources of law of evidence; functions of the judge, counsel and jury in the adversarial system; burden and standard of proof
Main facts in issue and collateral facts in issue; relevance, admissibility, weight, exclusionary rules, discretion to exclude, illegally obtained evidence, voir dire
Competence, compellability and privilege, including the accused as a witness; examination of particular classes of witnesses – children, Indigenous people, people from non-English speaking backgrounds and complainants in sexual offences (including corroboration)
The trial process – examination-in-chief
The trial process – cross-examination, re-examination, rebuttal, objections
Documentary evidence and real evidence
Exceptions to hearsay including common law, statutory and res gestae
Admissions and confessions (including illegally obtained evidence)
Circumstantial evidence; similar fact evidence; character evidence
400 Level (Graduate)
|Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to...||Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...|
|1||Demonstrate a coherent and advanced knowledge of the rules of evidence, evidential concepts and principles||
|2||Demonstrate cognitive skills to exercise critical thinking, such as interpret, analyse, evaluate and synthesise knowledge of the rules of evidence to identify and provide solutions to complex problems with intellectual independence.||Creative and critical thinker|
|3||Demonstrate communication skills to present a clear and coherent understanding of the rules of evidence to a legal audience.||Engaged|
|4||Demonstrate the application of the rules of evidence and skills with responsibility and accountability for own learning and reflective practice and in collaboration with others.||
Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.
LAW104 and LAW304 and enrolled in any Law Program
Standard Grading (GRD)
|High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).|
In the tutorials in Weeks 2-6, you will engage in activities that ask you to self-assess and reflect on your learning; and provide peer feedback on tutorial answers.
|Delivery mode||Task No.||Assessment Product||Individual or Group||Weighting %||What is the duration / length?||When should I submit?||Where should I submit it?|
|Week 6||Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check|
|Week 10||Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check|
|All||3||Examination - Centrally Scheduled||Individual||50%||
|Exam Period||Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check|
|All - Assessment Task 1:Written Piece|
The goal of the written piece is to assess your knowledge of the rules of evidence, evidential concepts and principles. It will also assess your communication skills.
This task is to be completed individually and requires an analytical essay format. The maximum word limit is 1000 words.
|All - Assessment Task 2:Journal|
The goal of the journal is to assess your knowledge of the rules of evidence, evidential concepts and principles. It will also assess your problem-solving skills, communication skills and collaboration skills.
This task requires an individual written reflection on learning activities relevant to the trial process. The learning activities will be completed collaboratively in a law firm (team of 4-5 students) in the tutorials in Weeks 8 and 9. This includes reflecting on planning questions for examination-in-chief and cross-examination; simulating counsel by asking questions of a witness in the Moot Court; objecting to questions asked by opponent counsel; and collaborating with other students. The maximum word limit is 1000 words.
|All - Assessment Task 3:Final Examination|
The goal of this assessment is to test your ability to apply the legal principles and concepts learned this semester to unseen questions.
|Product:||Examination - Centrally Scheduled|
This is an individual examination completed during the central examination period. You will be given 4 hours to complete and submit the examination. All topics covered in the lectures and tutorials are potentially examinable. In preparation for this task, you will receive formative feedback from your lecturer and tutor throughout this course.
A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.
Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.
Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.
|Required||David Field||2019||Queensland Evidence Law||5th ed||Lexis Nexis|
Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation. It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline. This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.
Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person. You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.
In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin. This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.
Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying: The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4% The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.
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