This module explores the rules and principles that regulate the trial stage of the criminal process. The module is socio-legal in its approach, placing as much emphasis on the theoretical and political context of rules as the content of those rules and their application in practice. It also challenges students to consider a normative agenda. Topics to be covered include the following:
- Models of proof
- Adversarial techniques
- Principles of criminal evidence
- Burden and standard of proof
- Relevance and inferences
In addition, a number of specific evidential rules will be examined. This may include: vulnerable witnesses, character evidence, hearsay evidence, double jeopardy, confessions and improperly obtained evidence. The module aims to develop key transferable skills as well as more traditional academic ones. In line with this, students will be partially assessed via a 10-minute recorded presentation consisting of a submission to an appeal court on a case provided.