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.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • (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

Gold Coast

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


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


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

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


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2019 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


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