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Advocacy (LAWS50055)

Graduate coursework level 5Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Overview

Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 5
Subject codeLAWS50055
Campus
Parkville
Availability(Quotas apply)
Summer Term
November
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The enforcement and protection of legal rights and interests ultimately depends on legal proceedings in courts and tribunals. Many if not most legal proceedings revolve around issues of fact, and in an adversarial context this means the presentation of competing versions of contentious events and the attempt by each of the parties to persuade the tribunal of fact to accept a version of events which would entitle them to the remedy or outcome sought by their client.

The focus of this subject is on the development of the specialised skills and expert judgment needed for this crucial aspect of legal practice, which can broadly be described as trial advocacy (as distinct from appellate advocacy). Effective trial advocacy requires a broad, complex and diverse set of skills, ranging from the ability to develop and present a persuasive narrative (both in an address and by examining a witness) to the ability to force an opposing witness to make concessions that will advance the party's case.

Advocacy enables students to develop this set of skills in a supportive workshop environment. Topics covered will include the adversary process; the role of the trial advocate; the development of case theories, themes and labels; opening and closing addresses; and witness examination including examination-in-chief and cross-examination. Students will be required to plan and conduct a variety of advocacy exercises.

Intended learning outcomes

A candidate who has successfully completed the subject will be able to:

  • Identify aims and objectives for the conduct of a trial;
  • Develop plans and strategies for the achievement of those aims and objectives;
  • Implement those plans and strategies in the preparation of, and through the course of, a trial; and
  • Critically reflect on all of the above at the conclusion of a trial.

Through the development of these cognitive and technical skills, students will develop the ability to:

  • Independently analyse, reflect on and synthesise the complex masses of evidence and information that typically arise in litigation;
  • Independently identify issues and problems arising or likely to arise in a particular trial;
  • Independently develop solutions to those problems; and
  • Communicate ideas, theories, information and arguments to a tribunal of fact or law.

Generic skills

Students who successfully complete this subject will be able to

  • Prepare a case for trial including:
    • Developing a case theory;
    • Drafting an opening address;
    • Drafting a closing address;
    • Drafting examinations and cross-examinations of witnesses; and
    • Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a case.
  • Conduct a trial including:
    • Delivering an opening address;
    • Examining and cross-examining witnesses; and
    • Delivering a closing address.
  • Reflect critically and meaningfully on their performance at the above tasks.

Eligibility and requirements

Prerequisites

Successful completion of all the below subjects:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
LAWS50023 Legal Method and Reasoning
Summer Term
12.5
LAWS50024 Principles of Public Law
Semester 1
12.5
LAWS50025 Torts
Semester 1
November
12.5
LAWS50026 Obligations
Semester 1
12.5
LAWS50027 Dispute Resolution
Semester 1
12.5
LAWS50028 Constitutional Law
Semester 2
12.5
LAWS50029 Contracts
Semester 2
12.5
LAWS50031 Legal Theory
Semester 2
November
12.5
LAWS50037 Evidence and Proof
Semester 1
Winter Term
12.5

Corequisites

None

Non-allowed subjects

None

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home

Assessment

Additional details

The due date of the below assessment will be available to students via the Assessment Schedule on the LMS Community.

Summer offering

  • Trial preparation document, 2,500 words, due end of week 2 of teaching (25%).
  • Trial performance, final week of teaching (50%).
  • Reflective report, 2,000 words, due approximately 10 days after completing of the trial performance period (25%).

November offering

  • Written submissions, 2,500 words, to include outline of case theories, outline of opening and closing addresses and summary of questions to be put to witnesses (20%). Written work due 24 hours before the trial performance.
  • Trial performance: opening statement (20%), examination-in-chief (20%), cross-examination (20%) and closing statement (20%): scheduled in accordance with trial performance timetable.

The due date of the above assessment will be available to students via the Assessment Schedule on the LMS Community.

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

  • Summer Term
    CoordinatorGary Cazalet
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours36 hours
    Total time commitment144 hours
    Pre teaching start date24 January 2018
    Pre teaching requirementsStudents are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.
    Teaching period 7 February 2018 to 15 February 2018
    Last self-enrol date 4 December 2017
    Census date 9 February 2018
    Last date to withdraw without fail16 February 2018
    Assessment period ends 2 March 2018

    Summer Term contact information

    Email: law-aso@unimelb.edu.au
    Phone: +61 3 8344 4475
    Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

  • November
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours36 hours
    Total time commitment144 hours
    Pre teaching start date 5 November 2018
    Pre teaching requirementsStudents are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.
    Teaching period19 November 2018 to 3 December 2018
    Last self-enrol date 4 December 2017
    Census date21 November 2018
    Last date to withdraw without fail30 November 2018
    Assessment period ends13 December 2018

    November contact information

    Email: law-aso@unimelb.edu.au
    Phone: +61 3 8344 4475
    Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

Additional delivery details

This subject has an enrolment quota of 60 students (30 per availability). Your subject enrolment will not be confirmed until the selection process has been run. Selection is conducted on a random basis with outcomes communicated to students shortly after re-enrolment closes. Please refer to the Melbourne Law School website for more information on the JD Quota Elective selection process.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    • J Curthoys and C Kendall, Advocacy: An Introduction (Lexis Nexis Butterworths, 2006)
    • Specialist printed materials will also be made available from the Melbourne Law School.

Last updated: 23 January 2019