Students

ACCG8077 – Forensic Accountants and the Courts

2021 – Session 1, Fully online/virtual

Notice

As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group activities on campus, and most will keep an online version available to those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face-to-face and online activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Julian Dight
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
20cp at 6000 level or above including ACCG611 or ACCG6011
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit examines the role of the forensic accountant in the courtroom, as an expert witness and/or consultant. Procedural issues and principles that guide the forensic accountant in the criminal and civil court system, and in relation to alternative dispute resolution, are covered. These include the evidence requirements and other mandatory obligations contained in the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board (APESB)’s Standard APES 215. Students will be introduced to important legal procedures such as discovery and interrogatories, and develop competence in the identification, collection, analysis and management of evidence in a legal context. By the conclusion of this unit students will have an appreciation of the nature and detail of court procedure, evidence and case law and be aware of the role played by the forensic accountant in the court process.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.mq.edu.au/study/calendar-of-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Contextualise and examine the legal jurisdiction, procedural issues and principles that guide the role of the forensic accountant in the court system.
  • ULO2: Analyse and interpret the rules of evidence and the role of the forensic accountant as an expert witness, including their professional/ethical responsibility and legal liability.
  • ULO3: Identify and review the core procedural and substantive aspects of civil and criminal litigation processes including discovery and subpoenas and understand the relevance of procedure and evidence to judicial decision-making.
  • ULO4: Evaluate legal processes of resolution of claims including alternate dispute resolution and analyse the role of the forensic accountant in legal support services.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Case Study 40% No Week 7: 5th April 2021
Expert witness statement 40% No Week 13: 31/5/2021
Participation 20% No Ongoing

Case Study

Assessment Type 1: Case study/analysis
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: Week 7: 5th April 2021
Weighting: 40%

 

Students will be required to critically analyse legal proceedings and evaluate procedural and substantive evidential issues, synthesis principles and interpret the role of the expert witness. The submission should not exceed 2,500 words.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Analyse and interpret the rules of evidence and the role of the forensic accountant as an expert witness, including their professional/ethical responsibility and legal liability.
  • Identify and review the core procedural and substantive aspects of civil and criminal litigation processes including discovery and subpoenas and understand the relevance of procedure and evidence to judicial decision-making.
  • Evaluate legal processes of resolution of claims including alternate dispute resolution and analyse the role of the forensic accountant in legal support services.

Expert witness statement

Assessment Type 1: Practice-based task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: Week 13: 31/5/2021
Weighting: 40%

 

Students will prepare an expert witness statement based upon evidence provided. In this task students will be required to critically reflect upon key issues and principles that underpin the role of the forensic accountant as an expert witness including their professional/ethical responsibility and legal liability. The submission should not exceed 2,500 words.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Contextualise and examine the legal jurisdiction, procedural issues and principles that guide the role of the forensic accountant in the court system.
  • Analyse and interpret the rules of evidence and the role of the forensic accountant as an expert witness, including their professional/ethical responsibility and legal liability.

Participation

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 20 hours
Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 20%

 

This assessment involves evidence of preparation for, participation in, and contribution to the seminar discussion and may include presentations, questions or written exercises.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Contextualise and examine the legal jurisdiction, procedural issues and principles that guide the role of the forensic accountant in the court system.
  • Analyse and interpret the rules of evidence and the role of the forensic accountant as an expert witness, including their professional/ethical responsibility and legal liability.
  • Identify and review the core procedural and substantive aspects of civil and criminal litigation processes including discovery and subpoenas and understand the relevance of procedure and evidence to judicial decision-making.
  • Evaluate legal processes of resolution of claims including alternate dispute resolution and analyse the role of the forensic accountant in legal support services.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Principles of Civil Litigation: Bamford David, Rankin Mark, 3rd edition; Thomson Reuters, 2017

Uniform Evidence Law: Principles and Practice, Feld Francine, Alexander Theo & Bagaric Mirko, 2nd edition: Oxford University Press, 2015

Unit Schedule

 

WEEK

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

 

CONTENT

 

READINGS

Week 1, Commencing 22nd February 2021

LO1: Contextualise and examine the legal jurisdiction, procedural issues and principles that guide the role of the forensic accountant in the court system

Overview of the Australian Legal System

 

How Law is Made

Australian legal system [online]. HOT TOPICS, No. 79, 2011: 1-28

 

 

 Feld, Alexander and Bagaric: Uniform Evidence   Law: Principles and Practice, Oxford University Press, 2015, Chapter 2

 

 

 

What the Law Deals With

 

 

Government in Australia

 

 

The Legislature

 

 

The Executive

 

 

The Judiciary

 

 

The Legal Profession

 

 

Hearsay

 

 

Opinion

 

 

Standard of Proof

 

 

 

WEEK

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

 

CONTENT

 

READINGS

Week 2, Commencing 1st March 2021

LO1: Contextualise and examine the legal jurisdiction, procedural issues and principles that guide the role of the forensic accountant in the court system

The Role of The Expert

Existence of Formal Qualifications

Expert evidence. (n.d.), Chapter 2 & 3 Common Law Evidentiary Rules (selected sections only)

Feld, Alexander and Bagaric: Uniform Evidence Law: Principles and Practice, Oxford University Press, 2015, Chapters 3, 6 & 7.

 

 

 

 

Australia’s Uniform Evidence Legislation

 

 

 

 

The Opinion Rule

 

 

 

The Admissibility Regime

 

 

 

Specialised Knowledge

 

 

 

Fields of Expertise

 

 

 

Expert Evidence and Hearsay

 

 

 

Certificates of Expert Evidence

 

Week 3, Commencing

8th March 2021

LO1: Contextualise and examine the legal jurisdiction, procedural issues and principles that guide the role of the forensic accountant in the court system

Forensic Accountant versus Auditor

 

Roles of the Forensic Accountant

F. H. Moore & S. Martin, The forensic accountant in practice (Kogan Page)

 

 

 

The changing face of the Expert Witness (Family Court of Australia)

 

 

Forensic Accountant in Practice

 

 

 

Expert Witness

 

 

 

Guidelines for Experts

 

Week 4, Commencing 15th March 2021

LO2: Analyse and interpret the rules of evidence and the role of the forensic accountant as an expert witness, including their professional/ethical responsibility and legal liability

Duties and Responsibilities

 

The Expert’s Testimony

R. Hoffman, W. Finney, Ph. Cox & K, Cooper, The Accountant as an Expert Witness: A basic guide to forensic accounting - Chapter 2: Overview - the legal framework (CCH Australia Limited, 2007)

 

 

Rules of Evidence

 

 

 

 

Expert Witness Code of Conduct

Schedule 7 – Expert Witness Code of Conduct Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 (NSW)

 

 

 

WEEK

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

 

CONTENT

 

READINGS

Week

5, Commencing 22nd March 2021

LO2: Analyse and interpret the rules of evidence and the role of the forensic accountant as an expert witness, including their professional/ethical responsibility and legal liability

Expert Witness Code of Conduct continued

Form 44A, Expert Witness Code of Conduct Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 (Vic)

 

 

Code of Ethics

 

 

 

 

Forensic Accounting Services

Accounting Professional and Ethical

Standards Board (APESB), APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

 

 

 

 

APESB, APES 215 Forensic Accounting

Week 6, Commencing 29th March 2021

LO2: Analyse and interpret the rules of evidence and the role of the forensic accountant as an expert witness, including their professional/ethical responsibility and legal liability

Court Rules for Expert Witnesses

 

Expert Witness Reports

 

Joint Conferences

Expert evidence. (n.d.), Chapter 5 - Procedure (selected sections only)

 

 

 

Edmond, G. (2009). Merton and the hot tub: Scientific conventions and expert evidence in Australian civil procedure. Law and Contemporary Problems, 72(1), 159-189

 

 

Poor Forensic Work

 

 

 

Concurrent Evidence

 

Week 7, Commencing 19th April 2021

LO3: Identify and review the core procedural and substantive aspects of civil and criminal litigation processes including discovery and subpoenas and understand the relevance of procedure and evidence to judicial decision-making

The Civil Justice System

 

The Civil Courts

 

Procedural Reform

Mark, Rankin, and Bamford

David. Principles of Civil Litigation, Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Pty Limited, 2017, Chapter 1 The Civil Justice System

 

 

 

Civil Litigation Jurisdiction Parties

Mark, Rankin, and Bamford

David. Principles of Civil Litigation, Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Pty Limited, 2017, Chapter 2 Commencing Proceedings: Jurisdiction and Parties

 

MID-SEMESTER BREAK (5TH APRIL 2021 TO 18TH APRIL 2021)

 

 

 

WEEK

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

 

CONTENT

 

READINGS

Week 8, Commencing 26th April 2021

LO3: Identify and review the core procedural and substantive aspects of civil and criminal litigation processes including discovery and subpoenas and understand the relevance of procedure and evidence to judicial decision-making

Preliminary Issues

 

Originating Process and Appearances

Mark, Rankin, and Bamford

David. Principles of Civil Litigation, Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Pty Limited, 2017, Chapter 3 Commencing Proceedings: The Practicalities

 

 

Service

 

 

 

 

Discovery of Documents

 

Interrogatories

Mark, Rankin, and Bamford

David. Principles of Civil Litigation, Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Pty Limited, 2017, Chapter 8 Gathering Information

 

 

Subpoenas

 

 

 

Expert Evidence

 

 

 

Inspection and Testing of Property

 

 

 

Privilege

 

Week 9, Commencing

3rd May 2021

LO3: Identify and review the core procedural and substantive aspects of civil and criminal litigation processes including discovery and subpoenas and understand the relevance of procedure and evidence to judicial decision-making

The Common Law Trial

 

Mode of Trial

 

The Trial Process

Mark, Rankin, and Bamford

David. Principles of Civil Litigation, Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Pty Limited, 2017, Chapter 11 Trials

 

 

 

Verdicts and Judgements

Findlay, M., Odgers, Stephen, Yeo, Stanley Meng Heong. Australian criminal justice, Ebooks Corporation, 2014, Chapter 5 Trial

 

 

Criminal Trials

 

Week 10, Commencing 10th May 2021

LO4: Evaluate legal processes of resolution of claims including alternate dispute resolution and analyse the role of the forensic accountant in legal support services

Disputes

 

Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR)

Australian Government, Attorney-General's Department, Your Guide to Dispute Resolution (Creative Commons Attribution, 2012)

 

 

Dispute Resolution Processes

 

 

 

Preparation for ADR

 

Week 11, Commencing 17th May 2021

LO4: Evaluate legal processes of resolution of claims including alternate dispute resolution and analyse the role of the forensic accountant in legal support services

Mediation

 

Court Annexed Mediation

 

Arbitration

Mark, Rankin, and Bamford

David. Principles of Civil Litigation, Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Pty Limited, 2017, Chapter 9 Court Annexed Alternative Dispute Resolution

 

 

Neutral Evaluation and Case Appraisal

 

 

 

 

WEEK

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

 

CONTENT

 

READINGS

Week 12, Commencing 24th May 2021

LO4: Evaluate legal processes of resolution of claims including alternate dispute resolution and analyse the role of the forensic accountant in legal support services

Overview Parties’ Experts

Parties’ Single Expert

R. McDougal, The utility of expert evidence in dispute resolution (2016)

 

 

Court- Appointed Expert

 

 

 

Expert to Assist the Court

 

Week 13, Commencing 31st May 2021

REVISION AND CONSULTATION

 

 

 

 

 

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Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

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