LW316-6-FY-CO:
Law of Evidence

The details
2019/20
Law (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Current
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
30
05 August 2019

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

(none)

Module description

The aim of the module is to present a clear picture of the process and procedure involved in the presentation of evidence in criminal trials in England and Wales. In achieving this aim, the module examines the process of gathering evidence, the admissibility of such evidence and the ability to use such evidence in reaching decisions.
The module is a very practical one; examining why the law of evidence has evolved as it has. Questions include:


Can previous criminal convictions of either the defendant or a witness be presented to the court?


Can the spouse of a defendant be compelled to give evidence against his/her accused spouse?


What is the relevancy of purely circumstantial evidence?


How are vulnerable witnesses, such as rape complainants or child victims protected by the court system?


Can an illegally obtained confession be used in court?


Can an illegally obtained murder weapon be evidence in court?


The module builds upon knowledge already gained in a number of other substantive law modules, in particular criminal law. Many wouldbe lawyers will find the module very useful for practice.

Module aims

To provide students with the necessary knowledge and understanding of the law of evidence in criminal trials so as to enable them to meet the stated Learning Outcomes

Module learning outcomes

• To understand the historical evolution of rules governing the admission of evidence and to critically evaluate the need for further changes to the law.

• To assess the efficacy of the current rules for achieving justice and a fair trial.

• To understand the contribution of case law to this area of law.

• To understand the structure of the rules and procedures and to be able to apply them in practice.

• To develop a sense of critical assessment and evaluation of evidential facts and apply this to novel scenarios.

Module information

Indicative Syllabus



Relevance and Admissibility

Burden of proof

Witnesses: Competence and Compellability

Witness Evidence and Examination

Identification Evidence

Character Evidence of Witnesses

Evidence of a Complainant in a Sexual Offence Case

Bad Character of the Defendant

Hearsay inc. Confessions

Silence before and after trial

Learning and teaching methods

The evidence module will be divided into a series of lectures and tutorials where students have the opportunity to check their understanding of the subject.

Bibliography

  • Choo, Andrew L.-T. (2018) Evidence, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Huxley, Phil. (2018) Blackstone's statutes on evidence, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Multiple Choice Questions 30%
Coursework Summative Essay 60%
Practical Preparation and participation 10%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Oriola Sallavaci
Law General Office, 01206 872529, lawugadmin@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
No
No
No

External examiner

Ms Lydia Katherine Bleasdale-Hill
The University of Leeds
Director of the Clinic
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 54 hours, 54 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Law (School of)

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