EVIDENCE AND JUSTICE

SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3L322052
Module Leader Andrew Tickell
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Sociology
Trimesters
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

-108 This module introduces the student to the relevance, admissibility and competence of evidence in legal proceedings. In particular, it examines contemporary criminological issues in the law of evidence which impinge on the application of the rules relating to the proof of facts in both civil and criminal cases in Scotland.

Syllabus

The principles of the law of evidence, comprising in particular: -360b7 Relevance, admissibility, weight and sufficiency of evidence, burdens of proof, standards of proof, types of evidence b7 Competence, compellability, vulnerable witnesses, privilege and immunity b7 Corroboration, the Moorov doctrine, similar fact evidence b7 Admissions and confessions b7 Illegally obtained evidence b7 Character evidence b7 The rule against hearsay b7 Opinion and expert evidence b7 Presumptions of law and fact b7 Res judicata b7 Judicial knowledge and judicial admissions b7 The conduct of a trial or proof

Learning Outcomes

1 Learning OutcomesAt the end of the module the student should be able to:1 Evaluate and apply the rules relating to the relevance and admissibility of evidence in Scotland2 Identify and synthesise the legal issues arising in practical problems3 Appraise and synthesise legal concepts so as to construct a persuasive argument using recognised legal sources in justifying their application to a given set of facts4 Communicate confidently with legal experts on a range of evidence-related legal matters5 Update their acquired knowledge in order to keep pace with changes in relevant areas of lawand: Identify and retrieve up to date legal information using paper and electronic repositories; use primary and secondary legal sources which are relevant to the topic under study and current at the point of assessment; present knowledge and information using sources to support arguments and conclusions; provide recognised methods of citation and reference.Identify accurately and formulate clearly the legal issues to be researched; undertake independent research (both paper-based and electronic) in areas of law which have not been previously studied, using paper and electronic repositories to research new topics without reference to a reading list.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module will be delivered via a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and directed learning. Students will attend two compulsory lectures per week, one hour long seminar every week, and four tutorials over a twelve week period. Lectures will commence in week one, seminars will commence in week two and tutorials in week four. Lectures will concentrate on introducing students to the substantive legal concepts of the law of evidence. Seminars will focus on applying these concepts to practical problems and analysing them in the context of the criminal and civil justice systems in Scotland. Tutorials will apply the lecture and seminar material to issues of criminological significance. Students will be expected to consider prescribed cases prior to seminars and tutorials, so as to be able to discuss issues in groups or within teams.

Indicative Reading

Essential reading: Raitt, Evidence: Principles, Policy and Practice , W Green, 2011 Chalmers & Ross, Walker and Walker: The Law of Evidence in Scotland , Tottell, 3 rd ed, 2009 Chalmers, Evidence Essentials , Dundee University Press, 2 nd ed, 2009 Additional reading: Auchie, Evidence , W Green, 3 rd ed, 2008 Blackie, Evidence & Proof in the Scottish Legal Process , Dundee University Press, (Feb 2012) Hostettler, The Criminal Jury Old and New , Waterside Press, 2004 Kirkpatrick, Digest of the Scottish Law of Evidence 1800-1926 , Gale, 2010 Newburn, Criminology, Cullompton: Willan, 2007 Stone, Cross-Examination in Criminal Trials, Tottell,3rd ed, 2009

Transferrable Skills

Analysis, Synthesis, Critical Judgement and Evaluation: The ability to identify issues, assimilate, evaluate and analyse information to construct written or oral solutions to a problem by bringing together and integrating relevant information, and selecting key material, from a variety of different sources. The ability to present arguments for and against propositions, acknowledging ranking of sources and relative impact in context. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360b7 Preparing for and participating in seminars b7 Preparing for and delivering group and individual presentations b7 Preparing for and delivering critical essay Personal Management, Independence and Ability to Learn: The ability to organise and prioritise effectively the expenditure of time and effort in the performance of all aspects of student work. The ability to learn effectively and be aware of their own learning strategies; to manage their own learning development and to reflect upon their learning, seeking and making use of feedback. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360b7 Preparing for lectures b7 Consolidating material delivered at lectures b7 Supplementing delivered material with additional reading b7 Reflecting on lecture, handout and self-searched material b7 Preparing for and participating in group meetings and other group activities b7 Preparing for and participating in seminars b7 Preparing for and delivering group and individual presentations b7 Preparing for and delivering critical essay Communication and Literacy: The ability to communicate information, ideas, advice and choices in an effective and succinct manner and in plain English without losing focus on key issues. The ability to listen and question effectively, to give and receive feedback and to make presentations addressing an allocated topic within the prescribed time frame. The ability to communicate both orally and in writing (and, where appropriate, by the use of electronic means) using the English language accurately by creating work which is comprehensible to the intended audience. The ability to create documents which are analytical, descriptive and inquisitive using appropriate terminology and recognised methods of citation and reference. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360b7 Consolidating material delivered at lectures b7 Supplementing delivered material with additional reading b7 Reflecting on lecture, handout and self-searched material b7 Preparing for and participating in group meetings and other group activities b7 Preparing for and participating in seminars b7 Preparing for and delivering coursework b7 Reflecting on feedback from seminar contributions, group and individual presentations, coursework and examination performance b7 Preparing for and delivering group presentations b7 Preparing for and delivering critical essay Numeracy, Information, Technology and Teamwork Where relevant and as the basis for an argument, the ability to present and evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form. The ability to produce and present in an appropriate form a word-processed essay or other appropriate format. The ability to conduct efficient searches of websites to locate relevant information; and exchange documents by E-mail. The ability to work productively and cooperatively in different kinds of groups; to establish working relations with others, defining, sharing and delegating responsibilities within the group. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360b7 Consolidating material delivered at lectures b7 Supplementing delivered material with additional reading b7 Preparing for and participating in group meetings and other group activities b7 Preparing for and participating in seminars b7 Preparing for and delivering group presentations Preparing for and delivering critical essay

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
a custom activity - Assessment 40.00
a custom activity - Seminars 12.00
Lectures a custom activity - Lectures 24.00
a custom activity - Tutorials 6.00
a custom activity - Indepedent Learning 118.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 3.00 70.00 35% Unseen exam
Critical Essay n/a 30.00 35% Critical Essay 1500-2000 words