Syllabus Evidence - Federation of Law Societies of Canada

Federation of Law Societies of Canada
National Committee on Accreditation
(Revised February 2015)
Candidates are advised that the syllabus may be updated from
time-to-time without prior notice.
Candidates are responsible for obtaining the
most current syllabus available.
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K1P 1A4
Federation of Law Societies of Canada
National Committee on Accreditation
Evidence Law
The function of this exam is to determine whether applicants have an understanding and knowledge
of Canadian evidence law equivalent to that of graduates of Canadian common law programs. To
pass the examination, candidates are expected to identify the relevant issues, select and identify
the material rules of law as understood in Canada, and explain how the law applies on each of the
relevant issues, given the facts presented. Those who fail to identify key issues, or who
demonstrate confusion on core legal concepts, or who merely list the issues and describe legal
rules without demonstrating how those rules apply given the facts of the case will not succeed.
The readings referred to in this syllabus as “T” can be found in David M. Paciocco and Lee
Stuesser, The Law of Evidence, 7th ed. (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2015).
The readings referred to in this syllabus as “CB” can be found in Hamish Stewart et al., Evidence: A
Canadian Casebook, 3d ed. (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2012).
The reading list starts on the next page.
Federation of Law Societies of Canada
National Committee on Accreditation
I. Introduction
T: Chapters 1 & 13; CB: 3-17
II. Methods of Adducing Evidence
A. Viva voce examination
i. Competence and compellability
T: 437-50; CB: 21-44;
ii. Manner of questioning
T: 450-74; 515-23; CB: 76-83
T: 566-75; CB: 381-92
B. Formal admissions
T: 160-61; CB: 743-52
C. Real evidence
T: 494-506
D. Judicial notice
T: 506-15; CB: 753-96
III. Admissibility
A. Relevance, materiality & discretion
T: 27-47;
CB: 87-103 (stop reading before “(d)”)
B. Hearsay
i. The rule
T: Chapter 4; CB: 129-32, 139-44,
ii. The exceptions
1. Categorical exceptions
a. Prior identifications
T: 146-49
b. Prior testimony
T: 149-55; CB: 172-77
c. Prior convictions
T: 155-58
d. Party admissions
T: 158-60, 161-72
e. Statements against interest
T: 173-77; CB: 163-72
f. Dying declarations
T: 177-79
g. Declarations in course of duty
T: 179-86; CB: 193-94
h. “Res gestae”
T: 186-93; CB: 160-62, 179-92
Federation of Law Societies of Canada
National Committee on Accreditation
2. Principled exception
a. Generally
T: 124-39; CB: 202-23, 225-58
b. Prior inconsistent statements
T: 140-45;
C. Character
i. Generally
T: 53-55; CB: 395-96
ii. Accused’s bad character
T: 56-90; CB: 443-82
iii. Accused’s good character & Crown rebuttal
T: 90-98; CB: 396-424
iv. Character evidence called by accused
about others
T: 98-109; CB: 424-36
v. Character in civil cases
T: 109-112; CB: 482-85
D. Opinion & expert evidence
i. Introduction
T: 195-97
ii. Exceptions
1. Lay witnesses
T: 197-99; CB: 261-67
2. Ultimate issue
T: 200-05
3. Expert witnesses
T: 205-35; CB: 267-74; 304-16
E. Improperly-obtained evidence
T: 336-44
The confession rule
T: 344-61, 369-72; CB: 496-537
iii. The “Mr. Big” rule
T: 361-63
iv. Statements of young persons
T: 363-64
General discretion to exclude
T: 364-65
vi. Undercover/detained statements
T: 366-68
vii. Statutorily compelled statements
T: 368-69
viii. Section 24 of the Charter
T: 381-432; CB: 539-61, 568-96
Federation of Law Societies of Canada
National Committee on Accreditation
ix. Unfairly-obtained evidence
T: 432-35
x. Civil cases
T: 435-36
F. Self-incrimination
i. Introduction
T: 306-11
ii. Witnesses
T: 311-24; CB: 596-612;
iii. Accused
T: 324-36; CB: 63-76;
G. Privilege
T: Chapter 7; CB: 615-709;
IV. Credibility
A. Discrediting witnesses
i. Generally
CB: 319-23;
ii. Opposing witnesses
1. Collateral facts
T: 475-82; CB: 375-78
2. Prior convictions
T: 483-86; CB: 363-73
3. Prior inconsistent statements
T: 486-91
iii. Your own witness
1. Generally
T: 545-49
2. Cross-examination
T: 549-65
B. Bolstering witnesses
i. Generally
T: 524-25
ii. Accused as witness
T: 525-26
iii. Expert evidence relevant to credibility
T: 526; CB: 323-29
iv. Prior consistent statements
T: 527-544; CB: 333-43
v. Rehabilitation
T: 544-45
Federation of Law Societies of Canada
National Committee on Accreditation
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