Course Code : LAW 406
Course Title : Law of Evidence
Weekly Teaching Hour: 3-hours lecture per week, 1 (1-hour) tutorial every week
Who may enrol : Compulsory for Year 4 (Senior) LLB. Students
Prerequisites : N/A
Lecturer : To be announced on August 2020
Description : The role of evidence in a civil and criminal courtroom is technical but its rules reflect core principles of the due process of law. This is critically examined with reference to the right to a fair trial as guaranteed under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The course considers matters such as the functions of judge and jury, standards and burdens of proof, the competence and examination of witnesses, the exclusionary rules relating to character, opinion and hearsay, improperly obtained evidence. The course also introduces students to the process of inferential logic through its unique case classes. The law of evidence is a mandatory subject in the vocational stages of training and so a thorough, critical examination at this stage will provide students with an advantage if they intend to enter the legal profession. The Course relies on an interdisciplinary framework of study for students to actively ascertain the techniques, limitations and requirements for eliciting, challenging and scrutinising evidence for the purpose of considering whether it amounts to proof. Students will gain an understanding and appreciation for the neuro-psychology, physiological, forensic and mathematical disciplines which inform and shape proof in law.
ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Professional and personal conduct in respect of a practitioner’s duty:
– to the law
– to the Courts
– to clients, including a basic knowledge of the principles relating to the holding of money on trust
– to fellow practitioners
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- demonstrate a detailed understanding of the skills of forensic reasoning and how these are applied in the courtroom.
- demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the functions, principles and rules of evidence as used in English and Welsh Courts.
- demonstrate a critical understanding of the relationship between the rules and principles of evidence and the European Convention on Human Rights.
- demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the main sources of literature on the law of evidence, from a range of disciplines.
- demonstrate a critical understanding of methods of forensic reasoning within the rules of evidence to be used in a given situation.
- critically assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the rules of evidence and procedure.
- demonstrate a critical awareness of the policy implications of procedural issues and law reform in this area.
- Critically analyse and evaluate the process of proving facts within the common law court system. Undertake legal research at an advanced level, and evaluate and apply a diverse range of legal information to complex evidential problems.
- Apply evidence rules in a principled and critical manner as appropriate in North & South Cyprus and UK Courts.
- Structure and sustain effective written and oral arguments for a legal audience. Complete complex tasks as a member of a team.
- Exercise sound professional judgement in the application of trial and appellate litigation techniques and practice. Work in a team in a professional and ethical manner.
- Compare and contrast the ethical roles of lawyers within common law courts.
- Demonstrate advanced capacity to use feedback to inform personal and professional development. Utilise critical self-evaluation to drive improvement.
Recommended Textbook (s) and Supplementary Books : There is no set text for the course, but standard texts are useful on many topics.
Consider, for instance,;
- The Law of Evidence 6th ed, by I. H. Dennis, (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2017);
- Evidence 5th ed, by A. Choo, (Oxford: OUP, 2018);
- Evidence 9th ed, by R. Munday, (Oxford: OUP, 2017).
- Evodence: Text and Materials by G Durston, OUP 2008
- Reading lists and other materials will be provided for students registered on the course via online by lecturer.
Class Participation 10%,
Mid-term Examination 30%,
Final Examination 50%,
Attendance 95 % compulsory.