EVIDENCE AND FORENSIC IDENTIFICATION

SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHM222620
Module Leader n/a
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Law
Trimester
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Criminal Law and Evidence.

Summary of Content

This module provides the student with an overview of the legal setting for expert identification evidence. The syllabus covers a range of forensic types, and places them in their broader legal and social contexts. The module also familiarises the student with the relevance, admissibility and competence of identification evidence in criminal cases. In particular, it examines contemporary issues in the law of identification evidence which impinge on the application of the rules relating to the proof of identification in criminal and other proceedings in Scotland and elsewhere. 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 thus 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

b7 Legal Framework for Identification and Expert Evidence b7 DNA Profiling b7 Fingerprint Evidence b7 Glass and Fibre Fragments b7 Handwriting Analysis b7 Trace Evidence b7 Tracking & CCTV evidence b7 Voice analysis b7 Identification of Human Remains b7 Visual Identification Methods b7 Identification Parades b7 Jury Directions b7 Novel Identification Techniques b7 Contemporary Issues in Forensic Science

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:" Evaluate and apply the rules relating to the relevance and admissibility of identification evidence in Scotland and a range of common law jurisdictions" Identify the scientific issues arising from the use of identification evidence in a forensic context" Appraise and synthesise legal and scientific concepts so as to construct a persuasive argument using recognised sources in justifying their application to a given set of facts" Communicate confidently on a range of identification evidence-related legal and forensic matters" Update their acquired knowledge in order to keep pace with changes in relevant areas of science and law" PRME Learning Outcome: demonstrate an ability to explore ethical and socially responsible responses to issues arising within the context of the law of evidence and forensic identification.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.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module will be delivered via a combination of lectures, seminars, online presentations, online tests and directed learning. There will be 44 hours of class contact over a 12 week period. Lectures will comprise a combination of face-to-face teaching and online learning, and will commence in week one. During the semester, time will be made during lectures to discuss assessments and to guide students in the preparation and writing of the assessed coursework. Students are required to prepare a casebook plan, midway through the year, so that feedback can be given on an individual basis to help form the large coursework assessment (casebook), which is due at the end of semester. The casebook is a critical essay on an aspect of forensic identification chosen by the student. It requires the student to choose, analyse and compare at least two forensic identification methods/issues and utilise caselaw and scientific sources to authoritatively critique the area. Online tests are conducted in weeks 2-10 (inclusive) and provide students with immediate feedback on their grasp of key scientific and legal concepts at an early point in the semester. The test questions are randomly generated from a bank of questions and students are able to complete the tests at any time within the specified weeks. Internationalisation: The delivery of this module will set Scots, UK and EU law as appropriate in an international context. 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 GCU Learn 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 Bogan, Identification: investigation, trial and scientific evidence , Legal Acton Group, 2004 b7 Blackie, Evidence & Proof in the Scottish Legal Process , Dundee University Press, (Feb 2012) b7 Chalmers & Ross, Walker and Walker: The Law of Evidence in Scotland , Totell, 3rd ed, 2009 b7 Hostetler, The Criminal Jury Old and New , Waterside Press, 2004 b7 Natonal Academy of Sciences, Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward , 2009 b7 Jackson & Jackson, Forensic Science , Prentce Hall, 3rd ed, 2011 b7 James & Nordby, Forensic Science, An Introducton to Scientfc and Investgatve Techniques , CRC Press, 2009 b7 Rait, Evidence: Principles, Policy and Practce , W Green, 2011 b7 Speight, The Scientst or Engineer as an Expert Witness , CRC press, 2009 b7 Stone, Cross-Examinaton in Criminal Trials, Totell,3rd ed, 2009 -567 Additional 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 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: -360b7 The Oxford University Standard for Citation Of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) website <http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/publications/oscola.php> -360b7 The British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BaILII) website: <http://www.bailii.org/> -360b7 <http://www.legislation.gov.uk/> b7 Westlaw legal database (GCU library - Athens access) 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, hand-out 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 b7 Preparing for and delivering critical essay and reflective report

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 44.00
Independent Learning (FT) 116.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 3 n/a 0.00 n/a Multiple choice questionnaires (ongoing).
Coursework 1 n/a 20.00 35% Research proposal (500 words). week 9.
Coursework 2 n/a 80.00 35% Project (casebook, approximately 10 cases, 3000 words) (ongoing).