LAW4310 - Trial practice and advocacy - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Professor the Hon George Hampel QC

Quota applies

The number of places available in this unit is 32. Apply onlineApply online ( to register your interest in this unit.

Not offered in 2018


LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW3300 or LAW3301 and LAW3302


The presentation of a court trial requires a broad, complex and diverse range of skills, including the ability to develop and then present a persuasive case theory. This unit focuses on the development of those specialised skills and expert judgement needed for this aspect of legal practice. Students will learn to evaluate how the factual and evidentiary foundations of a case

relate to the legal result. The theory covered and skills practised in this course include case analysis, development of strategy, trial preparation, presentation skills, ethics, evidence and legal argument.

Following a series of introductory lectures, students will participate in small group workshops.

During the workshops, students will perform as part of a mock trial; students will present an opening statement, conduct an examination in chief, cross-examine a witness and present a closing address. During these workshops, individualised feedback is provided. These workshops are also ideal as examination preparation as they mirror the assessment tasks set for this course.

This course will be of benefit not only to students who are contemplating practice at the Bar, or as solicitor advocates, but also to those who want to build confidence in their public speaking


On completion of this course, students will be able to:

1 demonstrate knowledge of the role of the advocate in the adversarial system of justice

including some of the ethical duties of an advocate;

2 construct a comprehensive and persuasive case theory and be able to communicate it both

verbally and in writing;

3 be able to apply some fundamental rules of evidence and fairness;

4 demonstrate a basic understanding of advocacy skills and techniques;

5 confidently present the facts and oral arguments to a court.


Students will be assessed on their preparation and performance of a mock trial at the end of the


1 Written Outline of Argument (1000 words) 20%

2 Opening statement (5 minute oral presentation) 20%

3 Examination in Chief (5 minute oral presentation) 20%

4 Cross examination (5 minute oral presentation) 20%

5 Closing address (5 minute oral presentation) 20%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information