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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Intermediate

Former School/College

Former School of Law and Justice

Unit aim

Specifically aimed at those students who will in their practice anticipate involvement in appearing in courts as an advocate. Whilst some solicitors may not appear in court, nevertheless the skills of persuasion by written and oral argument in court are useful in many other legal contexts. Will be taught with an emphasis on the acquisition and practice of courtroom skills up to District Court level.

Unit content

  1. Preparation for effective advocacy:
    1. The art of persuasion by effective use of language         
    2. Understanding the etiquette of court room advocates         
    3. The relationship between persuasion, presentation and effective questioning 
    4. Knowing your client and the court.
  2. Preparation before getting to court:
    1. Gathering proofs of evidence         
    2. Pre-trial discussions         
    3. Organisation of brief         
    4. Choice of plea or settlement.
  3. Development of professional attitudes to ethical matters.
  4. Presentation of evidence:
    1. Examination-in-chief         
    2. Re-examination         
    3. Matters often requiring attention in contested cases         
    4. Use of expert witnesses         
    5. Refreshing memory.
  5. Cross-examination:
    1. Rules         
    2. Purpose and limitations         
    3. Tactics and responses         
    4. Credibility and competence         
    5. Exhibits and documents         
    6. Objections at trial.
  6. The plea of guilty and bail applications:
    1. Research and preparation         
    2. Calling evidence         
    3. Negotiations with police         
    4. Court room presentation.
  7. Making submissions: addressing the court, and the jury.
  8. Putting it all together: mock trials group exercises.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 employ techniques of effective written and oral advocacy Knowledge of a discipline Communication and social skills
2 identify the ethical and practical issues involved in advocacy; and Ethical practice
3 demonstrate an awareness of the particular skills involved in each stage of a hearing or trial. Knowledge of a discipline

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. employ techniques of effective written and oral advocacy
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
    • GA6: Communication and social skills
  2. identify the ethical and practical issues involved in advocacy; and
    • GA3: Ethical practice
  3. demonstrate an awareness of the particular skills involved in each stage of a hearing or trial.
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline