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This course imparts a basic knowledge of the doctrine, principles and rules relating to the law of evidence in both criminal and civil proceedings. It focuses primarily upon fostering students ability to identify, explain, apply and critique relevant rules of evidence accurately and succinctly when applying the law of evidence to legal problems. It aims to develop an appreciation of the determinative role that the rules of evidence can have on the course and outcomes of trials and it encourages students to appraise critically the evidential rules governing formal proceedings. The course also seeks to provide students with the opportunity to engage actively in the learning experience through classroom discussions and court observations. This enhances their ability to evaluate trial processes and evidentiary doctrines from legal and justice perspectives. Studies cover: the nature of evidence, basic evidential concepts, classifications of evidence, obtaining evidence including the course of evidence in trials and the rules relating to the competence and compellability of witnesses, mechanisms for dealing with unreliable evidence and the major exclusionary rules including the relevance rule, the hearsay rule, the opinion evidence rule, the credibility rule and rules relating to tendency and coincidence evidence.

Summary 2021

Unit name Evidence
Unit code LAW422
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
Faculty of Law
Discipline Law

Dr Helen Cockburn

Level Advanced
Available as student elective? No
Breadth Unit? No



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About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify, explain, apply and critique doctrines, principles and rules relating to the law of evidence and their rationales and understanding of the theoretical foundation of the law of evidence and the basic purposes it serves.
  2. Identify evidentiary issues raised in legal problems and apply relevant evidentiary rules.
  3. Clearly and succinctly explain evidence law and its application to both hypothetical scenarios and trial processes, orally and in writing.
  4. Reflect on the operation of the law of evidence in the trial context; and a variety of justice issues relating to evidence.



50 credit points of Advanced Law core


Teaching Pattern

1 x  Pre-recorded Lecture per week

1 x 2 hour Seminar per week

1 x 1 hour Zoom drop-in review session per week


Mid-semester test, 90 minutes (20%), Briefing Note 1250 words (20%), Seminar participation (20%), Final exam, 2 hours (40%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable




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