Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitVictorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
OfferedSouthbank First semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor David Ranson


The law of evidence is a branch of adjectival law. It consists of legal rules, procedural rules and administrative arrangements whereby courts and tribunals within the justice system receive and evaluate evidence.

To perform satisfactorily in this field a forensic medical practitioner's communication skills must be of a high order and they need to understand the legal principles that govern the admissibility of their evidence.

This unit will enable students to gain practical skills in the delivery of medical evidence in courts and tribunals, in the preparation of medico legal reports to be used as items of evidence and in the techniques of advocacy that can modify the way in which a medical practitioner's evidence is received by courts.

Tutorials and presentations will be used to lay the foundations for some of the basic academic objectives of the course. Workshops will be used to establish witness skills and oral communication techniques and a moot court will be used to develop practical skills in presenting evidence and developing strategies to deal with the medico legal and advocacy issues that arise during the examination and cross-examination of witnesses including expert witnesses.


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 skills required to present evidence in court;
  8. have acquired the techniques necessary for managing examination-in-chief, cross examination and re-examination.


Assignments/Essays (50%)
Casebook Workbook (25%)
Skills Evaluation (25%)

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

Compulsory 2 day workshop