Course Title: Provide support to self-represented litigants

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: JUST5184C

Course Title: Provide support to self-represented litigants

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4240 - Certificate IV in Government (Court Services)

Course Contact : Lauren Weaver

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4622

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 40

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

 No pre-requisite is required for this unit of competency, however this unit is part of an Industry based program, offered to trainee Court Registrars.

Course Description

This course covers the ability to support and assist self-represented litigants. It involves identifying the specific needs of the self-represented litigant and delivering appropriate support, assistance and referral according to organisational policy, protocols and procedures. In practice it requires managing the provision of services in the context of the requirements of procedural fairness and the principles of impartiality and independence of the court.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

PSPCRT416A Provide support to self-represented litigants


1. Identify client needs

Performance Criteria:

1.1. Use appropriate interpersonal skills to accurately identify client needs.
1.2. Employ mechanisms to ensure that all relevant client information is collected.
1.3. Assess information for complexity, urgency, safety risks and eligibility for services.
1.4. Clarify problems raised by the client and seek assistance from appropriate persons to identify how to best meet client needs.
1.5. Observe protocols and limitations on sharing of information provided by client.


2. Provide information and options

Performance Criteria:

2.1. Provide information and options to self-represented litigant in a culturally appropriate and respectful manner.
2.2. Apply a working knowledge of specific organisational policies and procedures to provide information and options.
2.3. Identify and communicate limitations in addressing client needs to the client.
2.4. Provide appropriate referrals according to organisational policy and procedures, including making necessary and appropriate arrangements according to client needs.


3. Provide assistance

Performance Criteria:

3.1. Provide assistance according to legislation, regulations and organisational policy and procedures.
3.2. Provide assistance to access support services and alternative procedural options.
3.3. Provide assistance to complete and comply with procedural requirements, including initiating matters, orders, lodging documents and appearing in court.
3.4. Provide assistance to facilitate the case management of legal proceedings and the implementation of procedural modifications where required, within area of responsibility and with authority and limits imposed by government.


4. Facilitate communication

Performance Criteria:

4.1. Use appropriate interpersonal skills to facilitate communication between self-represented litigants and other parties.
4.2. Use negotiation and conflict-resolution techniques to resolve difficult situations and make referrals according to organisational policy and procedures.

Learning Outcomes

 See Elements.

Details of Learning Activities

Students take part in activities to review relevant legislation, regulations, organisational procedures and codes of practice utilised to assist identify client needs, and appropriate response for the particular client and issues, and matters before the courts.
Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria presentation, providing a link and understanding of the role of the DSCV and referal process for a court registrar, and supports and services available to self represented litigants attending court.
Activities which assist the trainee registrar to identify the differences between providing procedural advice and legal advice to clients, and how to ensure the registrar is aware of services available to assist an SRL who is requesting procedural advice in relation to their matter.

Teaching Schedule

This unit of comeptency is delivered over two days in monthly sessions in the second semester of the program.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

All resources for this unit are available on the Blackboard system.

Overview of Assessment

Assessments will incorporate a variety of methods including one or more of the following: written test, open book exam, case studies, class presentation, group project, role play scenarios, practical demonstrations, observations, reports, quizzes, and fieldwork assignments.  

Assessment Tasks

Class activity, exploring case studies and scenarios faced by a registrar in relation to self represented litigants presenting for services.
Three part assignment demonstrating an understanding of services available to court users who are self represented, in various jurisdictions.

Assessment Matrix

Assessment for the Certificate IV in Government (Court) Services program falls under Table 1.2 b - Nationally Recognised Training Package qualifications and State accredited courses delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment.

Competency Achieved
Used where competency-based assessment applies

Not Yet Competent
Used where competency-based assessment applies – This is always a Final Grade

Did Not Submit for Assessment.

This grade is only to be used where a student enrols in a course and does not withdraw and does not participate in assessment, regardless of whether the student is of ‘confirmed’ status or not.

All written work must adhere to the following criteria:

1. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics

2. It is expected that all submitted work will be well written, with clear and consistent grammar, expression and punctuation. It must be well structured and cogently address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical, ordered and organised manner

3. The concepts must be well defined and demonstrate a critical analysis of the chosen topic

4. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research

5. Double or 1.5 spacing and a font size of 10-12 must be used in font style Aerial or Times New Roman.

Other Information

Extensions will not be granted by teachers or Administrative staff.
In accordance with RMIT policy, students may apply for an extension where there have been unexpected or extenuating circumstances, e.g.

a) Hospital admission, serious injury, severe asthma, severe anxiety or depression. This does not include minor illness such as a cold, period pain or hay fever.

b) Loss or bereavement – e.g. death of a close family member, family/relationship breakdown.

c) Hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.
Students requiring extensions for 7 calendar days or less (from the original due date) must complete and lodge an Application for Extension of Submittable Work (7 Calendar Days or less) form and lodge it with the Program Coordinator/ Program Manager. The application must be lodged no later than one working day before the official due date. The student will be notified within no more than 2 working days of the date of lodgment as to whether the extension has been granted.
Students seeking an extension of more than 7 calendar days (from the original due date) must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form under the provisions of the Special Consideration Policy, preferably prior to, but no later than 2 working days after the official due date.
Assignments submitted late without approval of an extension will not be accepted or graded.
Students must keep a copy of their paper until the graded essay has been returned or marks have been posted.


Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person, without appropriate referencing as though it is one’s own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited.
You must acknowledge the use of another person’s work or ideas. If texts or ideas are reproduced they are to be clearly acknowledged in one of the conventional ways, such as by use of quotation marks, indentation for longer passages and clear citation of the source. Failure to separate one’s own contribution from that of another constitutes plagiarism, which may result in course failure to University expulsion.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview