The University of Southampton
Courses

LAWS6131 Criminal Evidence

Module Overview

This course focuses on the practice of the criminal trial, and the rules that govern the use of evidence in this context. It explores fundamental issues in the trial process such as how the prosecution can prove its case, the restrictions on the types of evidence it can rely upon, and the protections which the law affords to defendants. The law of evidence developed throughout the centuries in the context of the jury trial but has recently undergone wide-ranging reforms, sometimes driven by controversial policy objectives. A thorough understanding of this subject is essential for criminal practitioners as the determination of an evidential issue can ultimately be decisive in a case. The module offers a critical perspective on the English law of evidence and will enable you to consider its underlying purposes and policy objectives, and equip you with the skills needed to apply the law to complex factual situations.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the nature and functions of the international legal system
  • the key sources of public international law;
  • the main principles of the law of treaties and of state responsibility;
  • the bases of states’ jurisdiction over places, events and persons and the immunities from it.

Syllabus

This course focuses on the practice of the criminal trial, and the rules that govern the use of evidence in this context. It explores fundamental issues in the trial process such as how the prosecution can prove its case, the restrictions on the types of evidence it can rely upon, and the protections which the law affords to defendants. The law of evidence developed throughout the centuries in the context of the jury trial but has recently undergone wide-ranging reforms, sometimes driven by controversial policy objectives. A thorough understanding of this subject is essential for criminal practitioners as the determination of an evidential issue can ultimately be decisive in a case. The module offers a critical perspective on the English law of evidence and will enable you to consider its underlying purposes and policy objectives, and equip you with the skills needed to apply the law to complex factual situations.

Special Features

N/A

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include You will be taught in a two-hour seminar, once a week. Seminars will cover: 1. The structure of the subject and the key applicable principles, policies and rules of law. 2. In-depth discussion of key areas of controversy and doubt concerning the scope and application of the rules of evidence against the background of the policies involved and human rights law. 3. Interactive problem-solving and case studies. Learning activities include • Directed Reading (as per distributed reading lists) • Preparing and writing formative coursework and self-reflection on that process. • Completing a formative exam. • Preparation and delivery of oral presentations. • Class discussion (including small group work).

TypeHours
Teaching20
Independent Study130
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Shaw, M.. International Law, or Dixon, Textbook on International Law. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment  (1.5 hours) 100%
Assessment  (1.5 hours) 100%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment  (1.5 hours) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment  (1.5 hours) 100%

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Although the recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library, students may find it more advantageous to purchase their own copies of them.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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