Instructor(s): B. Davies; Adjunct Professor
Description: This course will provide students with an essential overview of the law of evidence. After considering some foundational questions, the course will move on to consider the rules governing how evidence is admitted in court. Questions about who can give evidence - competence and compellability - will be addressed first. Practical issues like refreshing memory, and the introduction of physical evidence will also be examined. This will be followed by a consideration of what makes evidence "relevant" - the threshold requirement for admissibility. The most common exclusionary rules, and the exceptions to them, will then be discussed. This will include hearsay evidence (and the most common categorical exceptions, as well as the principled exception to the rule), character evidence (and its exceptions, including the "similar fact" rule), and opinion evidence (and it exceptions, including expert evidence). By the end of the course students should have a firm grounding in the basic principles of Evidence Law in Canada. This course will be taught using a combination of the case and problem methods.
Evaluation: Open book examination (90%). There is a paper option (2500 words, up to 40% of final grade). Attendance and participation are mandatory and will account 10% of the final grade.