Subject LAWS50055 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours.
Total Time Commitment: 144 hours.
Prerequisites: 733-510 Legal Method and Reasoning; 733-511 Principles of Public Law; 733-512 Torts; 733-513 Obligations; 733-514 Dispute Resolution.
Corequisites: None.
Recommended Background Knowledge: Evidence and Proof.
Non Allowed Subjects: None.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Overview, Objectives, Generic Skills, and Assessment sections of this entry.

The University is dedicated to providing support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Andrew Palmer


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475
Subject Overview: The focus of this subject is on Trial Advocacy. Topics covered will include the adversary process, the role of the trial advocate, the development of case theories and themes, opening and closing addresses, and witness examination including examination in chief, cross examination, and re-examination. Candidates will participate in seminar discussion and will also plan for and conduct advocacy exercises.

A candidate who has successfully completed the subject should 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;
  • Reflect on all of the above at the conclusion of a trial.

More specifically candidates completing this subject should be able to:

  • Prepare a case for trial including:

    - Develop a case theory;
    - Draft an opening address;
    - Draft a closing address;
    - Draft examinations and cross-examinations of witnesses;
    - Assess the strengths and weaknesses of a case.
  • Conduct a trial including:

    - Deliver an opening address;
    - Examine, cross-examine and re-examine witnesses;
    - Deliver a closing address.
  • Reflect on their performance at the above tasks.
  • Class participation (hurdle)
  • Written preparation including drafts of opening and closing addresses and outline of objectives for trial and examination of witnesses, due prior to scheduled trial performance (25%)
  • Trial performance, scheduled in accordance with trial performance timetable (50%)
  • Reflective Report, due week 2 or Semester 1 (25%)
Prescribed Texts: Printed materials will be available from the Melbourne Law School.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • Attitudes towards knowledge that include openness to new ideas and ethics associated with knowledge creation and usage;
  • The capacity for close reading and analysis of a range of sources;
  • The capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection;
  • The capacity to solve problems, including through collection and evaluation of information;
  • The capacity to communicate, both orally and in writing;
  • The capacity to plan and manage time.

This subject has a quota of 40. Please contact the Law Student Centre for enrolment information.

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