LLA 1305 An introduction to the law of evidence

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About Course

LLA 1305 An introduction to the law of evidence

The importance of the law of evidence

The importance of the law of evidence in the context of disciplinary hearings and arbitrations can not be underestimated. Chairpersons face the risk of their finding being altered by an arbitrator, resulting in trauma for a dismissed employee and increasing the cost of dismissal to the employer.

The failure to apply the law of evidence is one of the grounds on which an award may be set aside on review. Company and union representatives fail to understand the nature of the evidence in a particular case, and fail to present  and/or challenge evidence when they should do so.

Chairpersons often fail to weigh up evidence correctly, or are either one-sided or intimidated into allowing baseless objections, or irrelevant evidence. Many arbitrators are not legally trained and this adds a level of uncertainty to a process where, despite much of the substantive law being settled, arbitrator fail to assess evidence in terms of  the standards required by law.

It is hoped that this section will assist practitioners to understand the law of evidence, present and assess evidence in terms of  the principles set out in this chapter.

Part of a programme

This course is part of a programme- that is a series of courses on a subject or theme.  AS the title states, this is the introduction, in which the fundamental concepts are explained.

Other courses in this programme are:

LLA 1310 Evidence of witnesses

LLA 1320 Documentary evidence

LLA 1330 Special types of oral evidence

  • LLA 1333 Hearsay evidence
  • LLA 1338 Evidence in camera

LLA  1340 Specific types of documentary evidence

LLA 1350 Real evidence

LLA 1360 Special Rules

LLA 1370 Circumstantial evidence

LLA 1380 Limiting evidence

LLA 1390 Assessing evidence

How to do this course

The course is available on line, and is conducted via a series of videos. Students download a workbook which is completed from the information on the presentation in the video. The learning process is enhanced by watching, listening and taking notes. The completed workbook then becomes the source material for the student and for future reference.

The course is broken up into separate short modules, and is followed by a quiz- a test in which your understanding of the material is assessed and re-inforced.

The course has been written and is presented by Sean Molony.

A book is available which contains the complete reference material, including case law and commentaries. Click here to download a copy of “A Practitioner’s Guide to the Law of Evidence in Hearings and Arbitrations”. 


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What Will You Learn?

  •  Explain why knowing the law of evidence is so important
  •  Define evidence
  •  Name the two key principles on which the law of evidence is founded
  •  Explain what is meant by relevant evidence and give examples
  •  Understand the link between relevance and the elements of an allegation or of procedural and substantive fairness
  •  Deal with evidence which is not relevant from the perspective of a representative in a hearing or arbitration, or as a chair or arbitrator
  •  Deal with evidence which you think is relevant when it appears the chair or arbitrator are not taking it into account
  •  Explain the general rule regarding the admissibility of evidence
  •  Identify when a form of evidence is not admissible and when it is
  •  Develop and present an argument for or against the admissibility of evidence
  •  Explain and identify the burden of proof
  •  Know when a party to a dispute bears the onus of proof
  •  Explain which party begins presenting its case first
  •  Understand direct and indirect evidence, and the importance of each with regard to the credibility of evidence.

Course Content

LLA 1305 Module 1 Introduction
This module introduces the topic.

  • Module 1 Introduction

LLA 1305 Module 2 An explanation of the approach
The way this course is taught is explained

LLA 1305 Module 3 What is evidence?
This module discusses what is meant by the term 'evidence'

LLA 1305 Module 4 Two key principles
The principles of relevance and admissibility are explained

LLA 1305 Module 5 Relevance
Relevant evidence is discussed with case studies as examples

LLA 1305 Module 6 Admissible evidence
All evidence must be admissible

LLA 1305 Module 7 The degree or standard of proof
The degree or standard of proof is explained and discussed

LLA 1305 Module 8 The onus of proof
"Onus" is explained and the law pertaining to the onus of proof in the context of disputes about dismissal and unfair dismissal.

LLA 1305 Module 9 Which party must begin?
This module provides as taste of future courses dealing with evidence of witnesses.

LLA 1305 Module 10 Direct and indirect evidence
This module introduces the two main categories of evidence.

LLA 1305 Module 11 Conclusion
This modules sums up what has been covered and points to further courses.

LLA 1305 Quiz
This module is the quiz- the test- which should be done after completing the above modules