Course ID: 207289

Overview

This course will examine the rules and principles of Canadian evidence law, focusing both on the practical application of evidence rules at trial as well as the questions of policy, epistemology, and institutional design that govern them. We will begin by analyzing the threshold requirements of relevance and materiality. We will then cover topics including hearsay and its exceptions, character and propensity evidence, lay and expert opinion, scientific proof, direct and cross examination of witnesses, competence, impeachment, and some of the constitutional questions that arise in connection to evidence. Throughout the course, we will trace the modern trajectory away from formal categories of admission and exclusion toward more flexible and principled approaches. We will consider the social and legal influences that have fueled these changes, including feminist and children's rights advocacy in the area of sexual assault and abuse. Because rules of evidence are most vigorously applied and developed in the criminal law context, this course will focus primarily but not exclusively on criminal law. We will also consider specific evidentiary issues in family law and in civil litigation.

Components: Lecture

Assessment Method: Open Book: Final 65%, Assignments 35%

Degree Requirement Fulfilled:

Prerequisite: Upper Yr JD only