- Credit Points: 6
- UTS Handbook: Description
- UTS Evidence and Criminal Procedure Autumn 2009 – Subject Outline
Learning Structure: 3/5
1.5 hour lectures and 1.5 hour tutorials per week.
The lectures are very good – there are lecture slides and each topic is sufficiently covered in each 1.5 hour (not too long and not too short!). If you go, you don’t really need to do textbook readings. The lecture structure for the semester is also well organised so that it ends in Week 13 (leaving you 1 week for study) with a quick revision lecture.
I found the tutorials too long and somewhat useless, because they were always discussion questions. There were no problem questions! The first time we did problem questions were in the final exam… There’s no participation/attendance.
The 1 lecturer (Katherine Biber) is really good. She knows the subject and knows which concepts students will have trouble with – so she slows down and deliberately explains these parts in a clear way. She uses PowerPoints and explains things in a very clear, structured way so it is quite easily to follow her.
My tutor was not particularly good – sometimes confusing or didn’t know the answer to questions. From what I’ve heard about Katherine’s tutorials, I recommend you try get into her tutorial. Particularly as the last tutorial is going through the past exam paper and she actually tells you the correct answer and how you would answer it.
Amount of Readings: 4/5
- Set Textbook: Hunter, Cameron & Henning, LITIGATION II, EVIDENCE AND CRIMINAL PROCESS, Lexis Nexis, 7th ed
There’s prescribed readings for each week made up of parts of the textbook (above) and cases/articles. However, I found that if you went to the lectures – there wasn’t really a need to read the textbook, except for when you missed something or didn’t understand it from the lecture.
The main problem is that the set textbook is outdated! It’s published before the amendments to the Evidence Act (NSW) 1995 so it’s important to look up the legislation in Austlii to check. There was also problems with cases (eg. Adam v The Queen) in Credibility and Non-Hearsay that are discussed in the textbook, but are now wrong, because of the amendments. So to an extent, the textbook is annoying, because you have read it with a sense of “caution” and sometimes I found it difficult to determine if the information was still correct or not.
- Analytical Case Note (50%): this was 2000 word assignment that was a combination of a case note and a research essay. There were 3 cases to choose from, which we then had to analyse in light of a particular journal article that criticises the decisions. The cases were quite long and the judgments were difficult. What is most difficult about this assignment, I found though was the word limit. 2000 words worth 50% was crazy, I thought. Sure, it’s a lot less work, but it means that every word had just great weighting on it!
- Exam (50%): the format of this exam was really good. 10 questions (5 marks each) based on 1 straightforward factual situation. What was really helpful is that the questions break down what you need to talk about, instead of the really broad exam questions they usually ask like “Advise blah about blah liabilities etc….”
Cons of this Subject:
- There’s no problem solving practice until you get to the final exam.
- The set textbook is somewhat out of date.
- The 50% assignment is limited to 2000 words.