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LocationDomesticInternational
Gold CoastSession 1Session 1
LismoreSession 1Session 1
OnlineSession 1Session 1

Unit description

Introduces and examines the general principles of the rules of evidence and the application of those rules in the determination of civil and criminal disputes. Considers the sources and acceptability of evidence, the burden and standards of proof, and the rules concerning hearsay admissions and confessions, illegally obtained evidence and res gestae. Critically examines the effectiveness of these principles in achieving their objectives in the legal system.

Unit content

Topic 1: Introduction to the law of evidence: the threshold of relevance

Topic 2: Burden and standard of proof; presumptions and inferences

Topic 3: Testimonial evidence from witnesses: competence and compellability 

Topic 4: The hearsay rule, its rationale and its boundaries

Topic 5: Exceptions to the hearsay rule

Topic 6: Identification, expert opinions and other opinion evidence

Topic 7: Similar fact (tendency, propensity and coincidence) evidence; character evidence; sexual history of rape victims

Topic 8: Confessions/ admissions/ statements against interest

Topic 9: Discretions and broad duties to exclude evidence; judicial warnings; corroboration

Topic 10: Privileges

Topic 11: Examination of witnesses; credibility evidence; vulnerable witnesses; the right to silence

Topic 12: Documents; real evidence

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to:GA1GA2GA3GA4GA5GA6GA7
1demonstrate an understanding of the criteria by which common law and legislation in Australian jurisdictions admit or reject evidenceIntellectual rigourKnowledge of a discipline
2explain and evaluate the use to be made of evidence in civil and criminal proceedingsIntellectual rigourKnowledge of a discipline
3distinguish and evaluate the different burdens of proof which apply to civil and criminal proceedingsKnowledge of a discipline
4apply applicable legal principles to specific factual circumstances and synthesise responses which are appropriate in a legal professional environment and which demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of the issues.Knowledge of a disciplineCommunication and social skills

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the criteria by which common law and legislation in Australian jurisdictions admit or reject evidence
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  2. explain and evaluate the use to be made of evidence in civil and criminal proceedings
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  3. distinguish and evaluate the different burdens of proof which apply to civil and criminal proceedings
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  4. apply applicable legal principles to specific factual circumstances and synthesise responses which are appropriate in a legal professional environment and which demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of the issues.
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA6: Communication and social skills

Prescribed texts

  • (Note: e-copies of textbooks cannot be taken into the examination room with you. Even in open-book exams, only materials written or printed on paper are permitted - electronic devices are not): Hemming, A, Kumar, M & Peden, E, 2013, Evidence: Commentary & Materials ("HK&P"), 8th edn, Thomson Reuters Australia, Australia. ISBN: 9780455230733 .
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching method
Tutorial on-site 2 hours (12)
Lecture online 2 hours (12)
Assessment
Problem question50%
Exam: open book50%

Teaching method
Tutorial on-site 2 hours (12)
Lecture online 2 hours (12)
Assessment
Problem question50%
Exam: open book50%

Teaching method
Lecture online 2 hours (12)
Tutorial online 2 hours (12)
Assessment
Problem question50%
Exam: open book50%
Notice

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information

Domestic

Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2020 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 3

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees

International

Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.

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