This course will introduce the law governing the proof of facts in civil and criminal trials in Canadian courts. Upon completion of the course, students should have a broad understanding of the law of evidence in Canada, including its common law, statutory and constitutional elements. The basic principles regulating the use and admissibility of evidence—including relevance, probative value, prejudice, and judicial discretion—will be examined in detail. Specific topics covered will include burdens of proof, competency and compellability of witnesses, rules about introducing physical evidence and questioning witnesses, judicial notice, character evidence, hearsay, admissions and confessions, expert evidence and privilege. Emphasis will be placed on the origins, purposes and justifications of evidence rules and the ways in which they operate in their legal and social context.
Note: The instructor of this course/ seminar has indicated a preference or willingness to conduct optional in-person meetings for students. All in-person meetings will be optional for students until the general return to in-person instruction that is expected for the winter 2022 term. Any in-person meetings in the fall 2021 term that cover examinable course content will be accompanied by a remote participation option, such as a separate remote class, live dual delivery, and/ or a recording of the class, at the instructor’s discretion. More information will follow from the instructor after students have enrolled; please also note that there is no guarantee of in-person instruction in any course or seminar.