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Forensic Evidence and the Law (8064.3)

Level: Level 3 - Undergraduate Advanced Unit
Credit Points: 3
HECS Bands:

Band 3 2013-2020 (Expires 31 Dec 2020) Band 4 2021 (Commenced After 1 Jan 2021) Band 5 2021 (Commenced Before 1 Jan 2021)

Faculty: Faculty of Business, Government & Law
Discipline: Canberra Law School




    The unit provides an overview of the role of forensic evidence in the legal system and the context in which it operates, an introduction to trial procedures, evidence law and the role of the expert forensic witness. Topics include: forensic evidence in law- institutional framework and legal context; dynamics of an adversarial trial. courtroom procedure and the roles of: Judge; Prosecutor; Defence Counsel; Witness; Jury.Standard of Proof and Legal Reasoning; types of evidence; basic principles of evidence relevance, competence, compellability, admissibility, discretionary exclusion, warnings;The role of an expert witness; Legal principles; Ethics; Legal procedures governing the tendering of forensic evidence; Methods of evidence presentation and display in the courtroom; and Particular (topical) issues in forensic evidence.This unit will be co-taught with unit Forensic Evidence and the Law G.

    Learning Outcomes

    1. Students who complete the unit will: be able to demonstrate their comprehension of the procedural elements of a criminal trial from opening through to verdict and sentencing; understand the respective roles of both the legal advocate and the expert witnesses; possess a working knowledge of the legal rules governing the admissibility of expert evidence in the criminal trial process; and be equipped to apply the procedures and rules governing the tendering of forensic evidence; and have an awareness of their ethical responsibilities as forensic witnesses; Students will be able to discuss: the appropriate uses of various types of forensic evidence including, photographic, visual and/or audio recordings, re-enactments, dental, blood-stain patterns, computer re-constructions; the nature of interplay between scientific and legal reasoning in the courtroom and the limits of their interaction; the ways that forensic evidence may be presented in the courtroom

    Contact Hours

    2.5 hours per week.


    Must have passed 24 credit points

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