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FPA5005 - Medical testimony

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: A/Prof David Ranson


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


Training in the effective delivery of medical testimony will cover:

  1. The rules of evidence as they apply in civil, criminal and coronial jurisdictions.
  2. Design, structure and contents of the autopsy report, which is of critical importance in the work of the forensic pathologist.
  3. Specialized communication skills for delivering oral evidence before a judge and jury, magistrate or tribunal chairman.
  4. Techniques of advocacy, important for the potential medical witness.


On completion of this unit the student is expected to:

  1. Display an understanding of decision making processes in legal practice.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the general principles of the laws of evidence;
  3. Comprehend the special rules regarding opinion evidence.
  4. Understand the role of the expert witness.
  5. Be conversant with the rules governing the reception of evidence to the courts.
  6. Demonstrate competency in preparing medico-legal reports.
  7. Have developed the required skills for presenting evidence in court.
  8. Have acquired the necessary techniques for managing examination-in-chief, cross examination and re-examination.


Oral presentations 40%, Case book 30% and assignment 30%.

Contact hours

50 hours tutorials, 40 hours case and practical work and approximately 66 hours for individual study, assignments and case book preparation.