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Handbooks Courses Units

LAW7040 - Current issues in evidence

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Law

Leader: Professor Bob Williams


City (Melbourne) First semester 2008 (Evening)


This unit will analyse at least six areas of current interest in evidence law. A focus of the course will be the uniform Evidence Acts now in operation federally and in New South Wales and Tasmania: Evidence Act 1995 (Cth and NSW) and 2001 (TAs). A review of the uniform Acts conducted by the Australian Law Reform Commission, the New South Wales Law Reform Commission and the Victorian Law Reform Commission was concluded in 2005, with the Victorian Law Reform Commission recommending adoption of the uniform legislation for Victoria.


On completion of this subject students should

  1. understand the theoretical and practical obstacles to judicial proof of selected issues;
  2. be able to identify; comprehend and discuss concepts of relevance, admissibility, probative value, prejudicial risk and facts in issue;
  3. be equipped to undertake an analysis of a multi-issued problem, to identify relevant issues and to apply and comprehend exclusionary rules of evidence; and
  4. be able to analyse critically the underlying issues in the adversary system of the disciplinary, protective and reliability principles and the concept of a fair trial.


Either research assignments (3,500 words): 45%
Take-home examination (3,500 words): 45%
Class participation: 10% OR Two research assignments (3,500 words each), each worth 45% = 90%
Class participation: 10%

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week

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