LAW5012 - Principles of evidence - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Mr Jason Harkess (Trimester 1)
Dr Martine Marich (Trimester 2)
Prof Johnathan Clough (Trimester 3)

Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Trimester 1 2018 (On-campus)
  • Trimester 2 2018 (On-campus)
  • Trimester 3 2018 (On-campus)


LAW5000 or LAW5080 or LAW5081, LAW5001 and LAW5004 (for students beginning in 2015 or later)


For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7273


The unit examines the principles and concepts underlying the law of evidence, both State and Commonwealth, together with an appreciation of the relationship between the law of evidence and the nature of a civil or criminal trial in the Australian legal system. Students will examine key concepts of the law of evidence in the context of the purposes of exclusionary rules. The unit will examine the role of technology in the trial court and the issues raised by its use for litigants and the court itself. The unit will also provide comparative law insights into different approaches to issues in the law of evidence adopted in other Australian and selected overseas jurisdictions.


At the successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. critically evaluate the law of evidence, its practice and contemporary developments, drawing upon broader theoretical and comparative perspectives;
  2. identify, research, synthesise and evaluate relevant legal, factual and policy issues;
  3. demonstrate intellectual and practical skills to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, legal methods and conclusions;
  4. exercise advanced and integrated professional judgment and ethical responsibility in evaluating jurisprudential, practical and ethical considerations;
  5. select, analyse, interpret and apply principles of the law of evidence to generate appropriate responses to complex legal issues embedded in factual scenarios;
  6. demonstrate the ability to think creatively and communicate effectively in professional formats that are appropriate for trial practice;
  7. collaborate and communicate effectively and persuasively;
  8. learn and work with a high degree of autonomy, accountability and professionalism; and
  9. reflect on and assess their own capabilities and performance, and make use of feedback, to support personal and professional development.


  1. Examination (2 hours plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 50%
  2. Legal submission (paired activity) (3,000 words): 30%
  3. Oral presentation of the submission: 10%
  4. Written reflection (750 words): 10%

Workload requirements

Students enrolled in this unit will be provided with 36 contact hours of seminars per semester whether intensive, semi-intensive, or semester-long offering. Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.