CRIMINAL LAW AND EVIDENCE

SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1M222605
Module Leader Andrew Tickell
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Law
Trimesters
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)-A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

none

Summary of Content

This module introduces the student to the substantive law of crime in Scotland and the procedural rules of evidence (particularly the relevance, admissibility and competence of evidence), in criminal proceedings in Scotland and within the global Criminal Justice System. The role of lawyers in society is changing - lawyers are increasingly expected to be pro-active in the prediction and prevention of unethical as well as unlawful behaviour across all areas of society. The delivery of the module will embed PRME principles including: developing graduates who care about social responsibility; developing learning and teaching which enables graduates to become responsible leaders and practitioners; and developing graduates who will advise businesses and other stakeholders to explore mutually beneficial responses to social and legal challenges.

Syllabus

Nature and Sources of Scots Criminal Law: Common Law; Statute; Commentators; Human Rights; Declaratory Power of the High Court Actus reus and mens rea: Actus reus: overt acts, omissions and state of affairs Mens rea: intention; recklessness; negligence Causation: The 'but for' test; The thin skull rule; The chain of causation; New intervening acts Inchoate crimes: Attempt; Conspiracy; Incitement Liability: Art and Part Liability; Vicarious Liability Crimes against the person: Abduction; Assault; Murder; Rape & sexual offences Crimes of dishonesty: Theft; Robbery; Reset; Fraud Crimes relating to property: Malicious mischief; Wilful and reckless fire-raising; Vandalism Crimes relating to public order: Breach of the peace; Terrorism Offences against the administration of justice: Perjury; Contempt; Perverting the course of justice Regulatory offences: Strict liability; Vicarious liability; Corporate liability; Road traffic offences; Drug offences; Offensive weapons; Presumptions, reverse burdens, defences Voluntary Acts and Automatism: The unconscious actor; Involuntariness as a defence; Ross v HMA 1991 JC210 Defences: Special Defences; Alibi; Incrimination; Self-defence; Mental disorder/unfitness for trial Pleas in mitigation and other defences Provocation; Diminished responsibility; Accident; Error; Intoxication/automatism; Coercion; Necessity The principles of the law of evidence in Criminal Law in Scotland , 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 Criminological Concepts: What is crime and how serious is it? "Crime" is not as simple a concept as it is often presented. For example, what is the relationship between crime and morality? Why are some things (e.g. incest) regulated through the criminal law and other things (e.g. adultery) are not? Why have we decided to tackle the drugs problem through the criminal justice system rather than the health system? What are the results of these strategies? What do we really do about crime in Scotland? While a legal understanding of crime allows us to know what could be done by the legal system in response to crime, in practice we know that most crimes and offences never result in a court appearance and a conviction. We need to appreciate why this is the case and understand the implications of it for social and legal policy.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:" Evaluate and apply the substantive criminal law and the rules relating to the relevance and admissibility of evidence in criminal proceedings in Scotland" Identify and synthesise the legal issues arising in practical problems" 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 facts" Communicate confidently with legal experts on a range of evidence-related legal matters" Update their acquired knowledge in order to keep pace with changes in relevant areas of law and: " 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." PRME Learning Outcome: demonstrate an ability to explore ethical and socially responsible responses to issues arising within the context of criminal law and evidence.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module will be delivered via a combination of lectures, seminars and directed learning. Students will attend two compulsory lectures per week and a one hour long seminar every fortnight, over a 22 week period. Lectures will commence in week one and seminars will commence in week two. Lectures will concentrate on introducing students to the substantive legal concepts of criminal law and evidence. Seminars will focus on applying these concepts to practical problems and analysing them in the context of the criminal justice system in Scotland. Students will be expected to consider prescribed cases prior to seminars, so as to be able to discuss issues in groups or within teams. Students will be expected to attend a criminal court within Scotland during the trimester and report on their observations in the final week of seminars, via a 5 minute individual presentation and a brief written report. Internationalisation: The delivery of this module will set Scots, UK and EU law as appropriate in an international context. Feedback will be provided as follows: -360 1. Students will be provided with feedback within 3 weeks of submission of all summative assessments providing information on strengths, weaknesses & suggestions for improvement for future submissions. The tutor will also provide feedback at the seminars. Students may also discuss any points with their lecturer or tutor. 2. The virtual learning environment site will be used to feedback overall performance by students on all summative assessments, highlighting overall strengths and weaknesses. 3. Discussion boards will be used to encourage teacher and peer-to-peer dialogue on certain topics where this form of communication would be regarded as effective. Student feedback on teaching, learning and assessment will be sought at the end of the semester through a module evaluation questionnaire. GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is provided within 3 working weeks of submission.

Indicative Reading

-567 Key sources: -360b7 Raitt, Evidence: Principles, Policy and Practice , W Green, 2 nd ed, 2013 b7 Hamilton & Harper, A Fingertip Guide to Scots Criminal Law , 6 th ed, Bloomsbury, 2013 b7 Connelly, Law Basics: Criminal Law , W Green, 5 th ed, 2013 b7 Jones & Christie , Criminal Law , W Green, 5 th ed, 2012 b7 Chalmers, Evidence Essentials , Dundee University Press, 3 rd ed, 2012 b7 Cubie, Scots Criminal Law , 3rd ed, Bloomsbury, 2010 b7 Gane, Stoddart & Chalmers, A Casebook on Scottish Criminal Law, W Green, 4 th ed, 2009 b7 Chalmers & Ross, Walker and Walker: The Law of Evidence in Scotland , Tottell, 3 rd ed, 2009 b7 Newburn, Criminology , Cullompton: Willan, 2 nd ed, 2007 Additional reading: -360b7 Blackie, Evidence & Proof in the Scottish Legal Process , Dundee University Press, 2012 b7 Croall, Mooney & Munro, Criminal Justice in Scotland , Willan, 1 st ed, 2011 b7 Ormerod, Smith & Hogan's Criminal Law (Eng), OUP, 13 th ed, 2011 b7 Kirkpatrick, Digest of the Scottish Law of Evidence 1800-1926 , Gale, 2010 b7 Chalmers, Leverick & Gordon, New Law of Sexual Offences in Scotland , 3 rd ed, 2010 b7 McDiarmid, Criminal Law Essentials , Dundee University Press, 2 nd ed, 2010 b7 Stone, Cross-Examination in Criminal Trials, Tottell,3 rd ed, 2009 b7 The Stair Memorial Encyclopedia : The Law of Scotland, Criminal Law b7 Auchie, Evidence , W Green, 3 rd ed, 2008 b7 Leverick, Killing in Self Defence , Oxford University Press, 2007 b7 Hostettler, The Criminal Jury Old and New , Waterside Press, 2004 -567 Key sources: -360b7 Raitt, Evidence: Principles, Policy and Practice , W Green, 2 nd ed, 2013 b7 Hamilton & Harper, A Fingertip Guide to Scots Criminal Law , 6 th ed, Bloomsbury, 2013 b7 Connelly, Law Basics: Criminal Law , W Green, 5 th ed, 2013 b7 Jones & Christie , Criminal Law , W Green, 5 th ed, 2012 b7 Chalmers, Evidence Essentials , Dundee University Press, 3 rd ed, 2012 b7 Cubie, Scots Criminal Law , 3rd ed, Bloomsbury, 2010 b7 Gane, Stoddart & Chalmers, A Casebook on Scottish Criminal Law, W Green, 4 th ed, 2009 b7 Chalmers & Ross, Walker and Walker: The Law of Evidence in Scotland , Tottell, 3 rd ed, 2009 b7 Newburn, Criminology , Cullompton: Willan, 2 nd ed, 2007 Additional reading: -360b7 Blackie, Evidence & Proof in the Scottish Legal Process , Dundee University Press, 2012 b7 Croall, Mooney & Munro, Criminal Justice in Scotland , Willan, 1 st ed, 2011 b7 Ormerod, Smith & Hogan's Criminal Law (Eng), OUP, 13 th ed, 2011 b7 Kirkpatrick, Digest of the Scottish Law of Evidence 1800-1926 , Gale, 2010 b7 Chalmers, Leverick & Gordon, New Law of Sexual Offences in Scotland , 3 rd ed, 2010 b7 McDiarmid, Criminal Law Essentials , Dundee University Press, 2 nd ed, 2010 b7 Stone, Cross-Examination in Criminal Trials, Tottell,3 rd ed, 2009 b7 The Stair Memorial Encyclopedia : The Law of Scotland, Criminal Law b7 Auchie, Evidence , W Green, 3 rd ed, 2008 b7 Leverick, Killing in Self Defence , Oxford University Press, 2007 b7 Hostettler, The Criminal Jury Old and New , Waterside Press, 2004 -567 Online sources: b7 The Oxford University Standard for Citation Of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) website <http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/publications/oscola.php> b7 The British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BaILII) website: <http://www.bailii.org/> b7 <http://www.legislation.gov.uk/> b7 Westlaw legal database (GCU library - Athens access) -567 http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: 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/tutorials b7 Preparing for and delivering group and individual presentations b7 Preparing for and delivering critical essay and reflective report 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 and reflective report 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/tutorials 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 and reflective report 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 and reflective report

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 44.00
Assessment (PT) 40.00
Independent Learning (PT) 106.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00
Seminars (PT) 10.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Independent Learning (FT) 106.00
Lectures (PT) 44.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 35% Individual Unseen examination (Tri B exam period
Course Work 01 n/a 40.00 35% Individual critical essay 1500 words (Tri A week 12)
Course Work 02 n/a 10.00 35% Individual Court Observation Report 1 A4 sheet + 5 min oral report (Tri B ongoing)