FOR4001 - Medical evidence - 2019

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.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Forensic Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Richard Bassed


Clinical Professor David Ranson

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis. For further information please contact the Postgraduate Course Administrator via email or phone 03 9684 4115.

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (Online)


Must be enrolled in a Postgraduate degree


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.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Justify decision making processes in legal practice.
  2. Critically evaluate the general principles of the laws of evidence and the special rules regarding opinion evidence.
  3. Determine the role of the expert witness and be conversant with the rules governing the reception of evidence to the courts.
  4. Apply medical, forensic, and legal principles to the preparation of medico-legal reports.
  5. Demonstrate skills and knowledge in the presentation of evidence in court.
  6. Use high level techniques to manage examination-in-chief, cross examination and re-examination.


  • Assessment 1: Short Answer Questions, 20%, 1600 words
  • Assessment 2: Creative Exercise, 20%, 1600 words
  • Assessment 3: Moot Court / Oral Presentation, 25% 15minutes
  • Assessment 4: Reflective Essay, 35%, 3200 words

A pass in all elements of assessment is required. Students must obtain at least 50 % of the available marks for each element of assessment to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

It is expected that students will need to undertake approximately 12 hours of study per week over the semester. This will include contact time, private study, assessment tasks (case studies, assignments) and, where possible, involvement in casework. Students are required to attend all workshops offered at the Department of Forensic Medicine during the semester.

See also Unit timetable information

Off-campus attendance requirements

Compulsory 2 day workshop.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: