LAWGENRL 401 - Evidence

Credit points: 20 points
Offered: First and Second Semester
Contact hours: Lectures - 4 hours per week
Course Coordinators: Scott Optican (First Semester), Carrie Leonetti (Second Semester)
Prerequisites: LAW 201, 231
Restriction: LAW 425

Course description

An overview of the rules related to the presentation of proof in New Zealand courts (civil and criminal) and tribunals, including the rules relating to hearsay, opinion evidence, privilege, examination of witnesses, confessions and the exclusion of illegally obtained evidence.

Course overview

Evidence can be defined as the means by which any alleged matter of fact, the truth of which is submitted to investigation, is established or disproved. The law of evidence comprises the legal rules regulating those means in a courtroom or tribunal setting. In general, there are four principal areas with which the law of evidence is concerned:

(i) The kind of evidence that will be acceptable in court;
(ii) How the trier of fact may use evidence to make findings in civil and criminal proceedings;
(iii) The manner in which evidence can be presented;
(iv) The persons who may or must give evidence - and how they may be questioned in court proceedings.

This course examines the legal rules of evidence in New Zealand relating to the four general areas outlined above and as set out in the Evidence Act 2006. The aim of the class is to give students a basic grounding in significant rules of evidence applicable to civil and/or criminal trial practice in New Zealand courts.


Semester One:

  • Quiz (5%)
  • 2500 word assignment (25%)
  • 3 hour open-book exam (70%)

Open book means that you may, if you wish, bring into the exam and refer to any materials such as casebooks, textbooks and study notes.

Semester Two: