This intensive program was a practical and applied course providing judges with an update on the state of the law of evidence in the criminal, civil and family domains.
The objective of this seminar was to increase substantive knowledge and develop strong practical skills relating to the assessment of evidence. To ensure an applied and practical focus, participants were provided with opportunities throughout the program to address situations and scenarios that frequently occur in court.
Led by senior judges and academics, the seminar used lectures, panel presentations, role-play scenarios and facilitated small group exercises. Topics covered included the following: relevance; opinion evidence; hearsay; privilege; confessions; character and similar fact evidence; examination of witnesses; collateral facts rule; judicial notice; credibility and deception detection; and evidence in family cases.
Participants had the opportunity to draft rulings in a small group setting with facilitators. One of the fact patterns used to apply the evidentiary principles under discussion was a sexual assault case. This hands-on seminar helped participants develop enhanced skills in addressing evidentiary problems as they occurred.