Law of Evidence for Forensic Scientists - LW573

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) MISS L Charleton


LW562 is normally a prerequisite but in special cases may be taken as a co-requisite


This module is only available for students on one of the Forensic Science programmes.



The role of evidence in a courtroom is technical but its rules reflect core principles of the due process of law. These are becoming more significant with the implementation of the Human Rights Act 1998 and it is important for forensic scientists, who may act as expert witnesses, to have an understanding of these rules and their operation in the trial process. This module considers the position of forensic evidence within the trial process, rules governing the recognition of such evidence and the perception of its value in the trial. In addition matters such as the function of the judge and jury, burden and standard of proof, and hearsay are considered from a central focus of how they relate to forensic evidence.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

20 hours lectures; 10 hours seminars (approximately)

Method of assessment

80% written examination and 20% coursework of a multiple choice test.

Indicative reading

R.J.C.Munday Evidence (6th ed Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Identify and critically analyse sources relating to evidence, from a range of disciplines.
2. Utilise and apply inferential logic and then apply analysis to factual situations
3. Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the rules of evidence
4. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of implications for evidence, and procedure, in light of the European Convention on Human Rights
5. Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the relationship between forensic science and the rules of evidence

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