LAS104 - Rules of Evidence

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 13:47:06.77
Last review date 2018-07-20 13:47:18.257

Subject Title
Rules of Evidence

Subject Description
A clear understanding of the rules of evidence is mandatory for any practitioner in the Administration of Justice. The collection and admissibility of evidence is governed by: The Charter, Canada and Ontario Evidence Acts, Case/Common Law, and the Criminal Code. An in-depth study of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will be undertaken as well as the rules of the decorum, which must be adhered to while attending court.

Credit Status
One credit in the Investigative Sciences and Police Studies Certificate Program

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Explain the rules of evidence and procedures as they relate to admissibility at trial.
2. Describe the impact of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms on the collection and presentation of evidence in court by State Agents.
3. Explain rules governing the attendance, competency and compellability of witnesses, and the accused at trial.
4. Analyze the geographical and jurisdictional rules governing the venue of a trial.
5. Explain the criminal jury process.
6. Examine the rules of decorum and the methodology of effective presentation of evidence in court.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline
        1.    Canada/Ontario Evidence Acts: application

        2.    Charter of Rights and Freedoms: evidentiary implications

        3.    Criminal Court System 

        4.    The Jury System

        5.    Geographic jurisdictions

        6.    Contempt of court

        7.    Disclosure

        8.    Procuring the attendance of witnesses

        9.    Competence, credibility, compellability of witnesses

        10.  Oath, affirmation: perjury

        11.  Husband/wife as witnesses

        12.  Children as witnesses

        13.  Examination of witnesses

        14.  Rules of testimony; effective presentation of evidence

        15.  Use of memoranda to refresh memory

        16.  Source and purpose of evidentiary rules

        17.  Facts and how proven

        18.  Direct and Circumstantial evidence

        19.  The Great Exclusionary Rules and important exceptions

        20.  Documentary evidence

        21.  The Best Evidence Rule, corroboration and the One Witness Rule

        22.  Evidence of accomplices 

        23.  Inconsistent statements by witnesses

        24.  Adverse witnesses

        25.  Documentary evidence

        26.  Self serving evidence

        27.  Self incrimination and privileged evidence

        28.  Interception of private communications

Mode of Instruction
All class work is completed in a fully online environment.  Students do not attend any classes on campus; however, the final exam must be written in-person at the Test Centre of the College at which you registered. . If you are unable to do so, please make alternative arrangements through the College at which you registered. 

Students interested in pursuing online studies must have strong time management skills and regular access to a home or office computer with an Internet connection and web access.

The online delivery of this subject may involve the use of digital materials and/or a text, group discussion, interaction with your instructor, and online activities.

Prescribed Texts

Evidence & Investigation from Crime Scene
by Watkins, Anderson, Rondinelli, Emond Montgomery Publishing, ISBN# 9781552393772

Reference Material
1.    A Basic Guide to Evidence in Criminal Cases, 4th Edition; R. Salhany; Carswell, Toronto

2.    Canadian Criminal Evidence, 3rd Edition; McWilliams; Canada Law Book Inc., Aurora

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Term Work and Final Examination Requirements:
To pass this subject, students must achieve the learning outcomes specified in this subject outline.  Students must achieve a passing grade in both the term work and the final exam of 50% to pass this course.

Grading Scheme LAS104:

Tests (4) 60%
Participation /Assignment Review (2) 20%
Case Study Assignment 20%

For further information on evaluation and academic standing, please refer to the Seneca College Academic Policy

Approved by: Sandra Noble