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DENT5657 The Law

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit is taken as part of the Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology and in conjunction with DENT5658 Law Enforcement. It provides an overview of the law; state, national and international dental jurisprudence; structure of law enforcement agencies; protocols for continuity of evidence; history of the coronial system and the role of the Coroner; function of the expert witness; report writing and preparation; and the significance of confidentiality.
Students are able to (1) understand the law as it applies to forensic odontology; (2) understand the structure and operation of courts within Australia and internationally; (3) demonstrate knowledge of the history of the coronial system; (4) demonstrate knowledge of the role of the coroner; and (5) demonstrate knowledge of the role of the expert witness.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignment work; (2) one written examination (1.5 hours); and (3) a viva voce examination (45 minutes). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Stephen Knott
Unit rules
Bachelor of Dental Science from this University or equivalent as recognised by the Faculty; and at least two years' experience in the practice of general dentistry
enrolment in the Graduate Diploma in Forensic Odontology (91350); and DENT5658 Law Enforcement
Approved quota: 2
Contact hours
lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical work: 60–70 hours according to mortuary casework and court attendance

Carvan, J. Understanding the Australian Legal System, 5th edn: Lawbook Company 2005

Colvin, E. et al. Criminal Law in Queensland and Western Australia, 2nd edn: Butterworths 1998

Cook, C. et al. Laying Down the Law, 6th edn: LexisNexis Butterworths 2005

Derham, D. P. et al. An Introduction to Law, 5th edn: Law Book Company 1986

Freckelton, I. and Selby, H. The Law of Expert Evidence: LBC Information Services 1999

Meek, M. K. The Australian Legal System, 3rd edn: LBC Information Services 1999

Rutherford, L. and Bone, S. Osborn’s Concise Law Dictionary, 8th edn: Sweet and Maxwell 1993

Winfield, R., ed. The Expert Medical Witness: Federation Press 1989

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.