LL5005 - Evidence and Advocacy (2019/20)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2019/20|
|Module title||Evidence and Advocacy|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||30|
|School||Faculty of Law, Governance and International Relations|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2019/20||No instances running in the year|
This module provides an introduction to the law of evidence and to legal advocacy skills. It will concentrate upon the main concepts and principles of evidence law and explore their application by the advocate in the courtroom.
Prior learning requirements
This module aims to enable students to:
- Understand and discuss the law of evidence
- Assess the relevance, admissibility and weight of a piece of evidence
- Critically evaluate the rules of evidence and proposed reforms to them
- Develop skills in legal advocacy and an understanding of its professional and ethical context.
- Introduction to the law of evidence
- The burden and standard of proof
- The admissibility of evidence including identification evidence; improperly obtained evidence and confessions; hearsay and its exceptions; character evidence; expert and forensic evidence and evidence in sexual offences
- Witness evidence, including burden & standard of proof; competence and compellability; witness examination; vulnerable witnesses
- Advocacy skills, including submissions, witness examination and the presentation of skeleton arguments
- Mock trial
Learning and teaching
Teaching will be carried out in lectures, seminars and advocacy workshops. Lectures will provide a structured overview of the course material and highlight key areas for further research and discussion. Seminars will involve a range of activities including discussion and debates, group work and blended learning activities. Advocacy workshops will use a range of techniques to develop oral presentation skills within the courtroom context. Key employability skills including oral presentation and communication skills, critical thinking and research skills will be developed. Legal employability is enhanced by an understanding of the courtroom environment and relevant skills and professional and ethical practices.
The virtual learning environment for this module includes a range of supporting materials, further reading, interactive exercises, discussion space, and assessment information. Students’ engagement with these materials will enable them to explore topics in more depth, gain contextual understanding, develop relevant skills and enhance their IT literacy.
Students will be required to complete advance reading, questions and exercises; to prepare for and participate in both formative and summative assessment; to prepare for and participate in practical advocacy exercises; and to engage with online learning materials. Their active participation in a range of in-class and online activities will allow students to develop their understanding of the subject as well as to gauge their progress, understanding and articulation of the issues and to obtain peer and lecturer feedback.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- Analyse the use of evidential concepts in both the civil and the criminal courts
- Assess the relevance, admissibility and weight of evidence
- Explain the likely impact of new legislation and proposed reform on the rules of evidence
- Communicate complex analyses of legal problems within the context of the law of evidence
- Apply advocacy skills to arguments on the admissibility and use of evidence
- Formative assessment will include seminar activities and a mock trial
- Summative assessment will be an individual oral presentation and supporting written argument
Murphy, Murphy on Evidence
Keane, The Modern Law of Evidence
Durston, Evidence Text & Materials
Dennis, The Law of Evidence
Allen, Practical Guide to Evidence
Pope and Hill, Mooting and Advocacy Skills
Criminal Law Review
Legal databases including Westlaw and Lexis.