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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: LAW3007 Module Title: EVIDENCE
Module Provider: School of Law Short Name: LAW317
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: GALLIMORE P Mr (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability
2 hour lectures each week, plus 1 hour weekly tutorial.
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Coursework (2,000 words)
Qualifying Condition(s)
Module Overview
Evidence involves the study of the Rules of Evidence applied in English civil and criminal courts. Students both learn about the rules applied by the courts and also engage in evaluation of the usefulness of items of evidence in proving cases.
Criminal Law (LAW 203 or LIL 211) and Public Law (LAW 105 or LIL 115)
Module Aims
This module considers the rules relating to the admissibility and exclusion of evidence in English courts and in the context of European and international human rights. Understanding the application of the rules of evidence in cases concerning disputes as to substantive law is the primary objective of the module. The module considers the impact of the Rules of Evidence on criminal and civil proceedings. The effect of the division of functions between the judge and jury has particular relevance to this study.
Further, students, in learning the rules about evidence will also be expected to evaluate the use of evidence and to make arguments about evidence and about facts and what evidence and facts may prove. Students will therefore be developing their practical reasoning and fact analysis skills to a greater extent than on previous Law modules. At the same time students will have to understand and evaluate the underlying philosophy of the law and legal systems an address concepts such as fairness, truth and justice.
Students address such questions as:
  • What sort of evidence is admissible in civil and criminal trials?
  • What is the role of the judge in evaluating evidence?
  • What is the role of the jury in evaluating evidence?
  • What considerations have been used in developing rules for the inadmissibility of Evidence.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the student is able to:
  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the nature of evidence and the underlying principles and concepts of evidence;
  2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the concept and process of proof;
  3. Distinguish between different types of evidence and understand the relevance of those distinctions
  4. Identify and apply the specific rules applicable to particular types or classes of evidence;
  5. Analyse the respective roles of the judge and jury in relation to evidence;
  6. Critically analyse the tension between providing juries with all relevant information and protecting the accused from unfair prejudice;
  7. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the ethics, philosophical principles and practical implications relating to evidence law;
  8. Evaluate the issues raised in problem questions and apply the rules of evidence in making cogent arguments on those issues;
  9. Apply the rules and principles adopted in securing the protection of human rights to evidential issues;
  10. Apply evidence theories and principles to substantive issues;
  11. Undertake directed legal research to locate relevant materials.
Module Content
  1. The philosophical and historical development of the rules of evidence;
  2. Terminology and definitions relating to evidential rules;
  3. The concept of relevance and its impact on the rules of evidence;
  4. The concept of proof and the means of proof;
  5. The legal and evidential burdens of proof;
  6. The standard of proof in civil and criminal cases;
  7. The use of evidence concerning character;
  8. Proof of the character of witnesses;
  9. Proof of the character of parties including criminal defendants;
  10. The concept of hearsay and restrictions on its admissibility;
  11. The rules relating to the admissibility and exclusion of confessions;
  12. The right to silence and qualifications on the right;
  13. The evidential value of lies;
  14. Proof of identity in criminal trials;
  15. Corroboration and warnings in respect of suspect witnesses;
  16. The rules concerning expert and non-expert opinion evidence;
  17. The rules relating to the proof of previous judgments;
  18. Legal Professional Privilege;
  19. Public Interest Immunity.
Methods of Teaching/Learning
The lectures will introduce the students to the subject areas and provide an overview to enable students to understand the basic principles and underlying concepts. The tutorials will open out the subject and consider key. Students will be provided with signposts to background and supplementary reading. During tutorials students will be expected to have researched the topic area and to apply that research to discuss given legal problems. Programmes of guided reading will be provided and students will be required to demonstrate, during tutorials, that this has been undertaken.   Students will be expected to present logical arguments founded on legal authorities. Their ability to challenge the propositions of others and to respond to challenges to their own will be monitored and developed.  The format of the tutorials will include considering the underlying value systems and philosophies underpinning public international law as well as their practical outcome. The teaching and learning strategy is designed to stimulate private study using derivative and original sources, both paper based and electronic and to develop an understanding and critical awareness of the essential principles and underlying philosophies and ethical values.
Selected Texts/Journals
Text Book:
Murphy, Murphy on Evidence (OUP, 8th ed)
Students are also expected to purchase a statute book
Background Reading:
Anderson, Schum and Twining, Analysis of Evidence (Cambridge, 2nd ed)
Allen, Practical Guide to Evidence (Cavendish, 3rd ed)
Choo, Evidence (OUP, 2006)
Dennis, The Law of Evidence (Sweet & Maxwell, 3rd ed)
Emson, Evidence (Palgrave, 3rd ed)
Keane, The Law of Evidence (OUP, 6th ed)
McEwan, Evidence and the Adversarial Process (Hart, 2nd ed)
Mirfield, Silence, Confessions and Improperly Obtained Evidence (OUP, 1998)
Munday, Evidence (OUP, 5th ed)
Murphy (Ed), Evidence, Proof and Facts (OUP, 2003)
Murphy, Evidence and Advocacy (OUP, 5th ed)
Redmayne, Expert Evidence and Criminal Justice (OUP, 2001)
Tapper, Cross and Tapper on Evidence (OUP, 10th ed)
Taylor, Wasik & Leng, Blackstone’s Guide to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (OUP, 2004)
Twining, Rethinking Evidence (Cambridge, 2nd ed)
Uglow, Evidence Text and Materials (Sweet & Maxwell, 2006)
Murphy (Ed), Blackstone's Criminal Practice 2007 (OUP, 2007)
May & Powles, Criminal Evidence (Sweet & Maxwell, 5th ed)
Howard (Ed) Phipson on Evidence (Sweet & Maxwell, 16th ed)
Richardson (Ed), Archbold, Criminal Pleading, Evidence, and Practice (Sweet & Maxwell, 2007)
Rose, Sime and French (Eds), Blackstone’s Civil Practice 2006 (OUP, 2006)
Key Journals
Criminal Law Review
International Journal of Evidence and Proof
Journal of Criminal Law
Law Quarterly Review
Modern Law Review
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