Course Title: Civil procedure

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2012

Course Code: LAW5193

Course Title: Civil procedure

School: 650T TAFE Business

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6106 - Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Contact : Doug Gourlay

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5944

Course Contact Email:doug.gourlay@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 51

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

Pre-requisites: VU20111 Legal Process and VU20110 Law of Evidence

Course Description

This course provides skills and knowledge in the area of litigation and civil procedure including the civil jurisdiction, structure, procedure and operation of the courts in Victoria.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20117 Civil procedure


Learning Outcomes


Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

Learning Outcome 1 - Analyse, outline and assess the structure and purpose of the civil courts system as it presently operates within Victoria.
Assessment criteria
1.1 Identify the jurisdictional limits of the Supreme Court, County Court and Magistrates’ Court courts.
1.2 Assess the role and jurisdiction of the Federal Court.
1.3 Examine the role of administrative tribunals in relation to dispute resolution.
1.4 Identify the roles of court personnel.Learning Outcome 2 - Determine and analyse the standard of proof and burden of proof in civil and criminal cases, and specify types of presumptions.

Learning Outcome 2 - Assess the sources of procedural rules and practices in the Supreme Court.
Assessment criteria
2.1 Outline the nature of Court Rules, judicial interpretation of Rules, the Court’s inherent power to control procedure, and practice directions.
2.2 Identify the circumstances in which no rules apply and examine the action to be followed in these situations.
2.3 Examine the power of the Court to prevent abuse of its processes.

Learning Outcome 3 - Analyse the steps prior to litigation and the commencement of litigation.
Assessment criteria
3.1 Analyse and evaluate the steps prior to litigation.
3.2 Examine the commencement of a Supreme and County Court action.
3.3 Examine the requirements of a Magistrates’ Court Complaint.
3.4 Examine the method of .issue of a Writ and Complaint
3.5 Identify the means by which an originating process may be served.
3.6 Examine the requirements of Notice of Appearance (Supreme and County Courts) and Notice of Defence (Magistrates’ Court) including
• conditional appearance
• interlocutory and final judgments in default of .appearance
• judgment in default in the Magistrates’ Court.

Learning Outcome 4 - Assess the nature, function and form of pleadings, particulars and third party procedures.
Assessment criteria
4.1 Identify the course of pleadings.
4.2 Describe the content, form and requirements of a pleading
4.3 Outline the methods of answering an opponent’s pleading.
4.4 Analyse the procedures relating to counterclaims and compare with set-offs.
4.5 Examine the nature and purpose of particulars.
4.6 Examine the procedures relating to the joinder of third and subsequent parties and claims for indemnity or contribution between parties.

Learning Outcome 5 - Analyse interlocutory procedures in defended actions.
Assessment criteria
5.1 Examine the circumstances in which summary judgment is available under Order 22 of the Supreme Court Rules and the applicable procedures.
5.2 Examine the process of discovery of documents.
5.3 Examine the nature and purpose of interrogatories.
5.4 Analyse the uses and effect of Notices to Admit.
5.5 Examine settlement procedures.
5.6 Examine the role of judges, masters and magistrates in the pre-trial stages of litigation.
5.7 Analyse the methods of fixing a date for hearing in the Supreme, County and Magistrates’ Courts.
5.8 Apply the procedures listed above to a court setting using relevant case study material.

Learning Outcome 6 - Analyse and evaluate the process of preparation for trial, the enforcement of judgments or orders and costs.
Assessment criteria
6.1 Analyse the process of preparation for trial.
6.2 Evaluate the process of enforcement of judgments or orders.
6.3 Examine costs considerations in relation to litigation.

Learning Outcome 7 - Evaluate and analyse non-litigious avenues of dispute resolution.
Assessment criteria
7.1 Evaluate mediation as an alternative avenue of dispute resolution with reference to:
• the nature of the process of mediation
• the roles of the parties
• the legal status of outcomes
• pre-issue mediation in the Magistrates’ Court
7.2 Evaluate arbitration as an alternative avenue of dispute resolution with reference to:
• the nature of the process of arbitration
• the roles of the parties
• the legal status of the outcomes
7.3 Analyse the operation of and advantages/disadvantages of alternative avenues of dispute resolution including collaborative law using case study examples.


Details of Learning Activities

Students will study Civil Procedure skills and theory in class sessions and through prescribed exercises and assessment work. These concepts will also be explored through the investigation of appropriate real world and simulated environments.


Teaching Schedule

Full time students  
Week Beginning (subject to variation)TopicsAssessment
 Week 1 – 6 FebThe structure of the court system 
 Week 2 – 13 FebThe place of procedure in the legal system, historical development of procedure 
 Week 3 – 20 FebSources of procedure, steps before commencement of litigation 
 Week 4 – 27 FebWrits and Complaints, service 
 Week 5 – 5 MarAppearance, pleadings 
 Week 6 – 12 MarPleadings (continued), particulars, remedies for defective pleading, amendment of pleadings 
 Week 7 – 19 MarCounterclaims and set-offs, disposition without trialShort answer, multiple choice test (30%)
Week 8 – 26 MarJoinder of parties, third party procedure, contribution between defendants Assignment given out
 Week 9.1 – 2 AprDiscovery of documents, interrogatories, notices to admit  
Week 9.2– 9 Apr Mid semester Break (Student Vacation) - 5 to 11 April 
 Week 10 - 16 AprCourt control of interlocutory steps, case management 
 Week 11 – 23 AprSettlement negotiations, formal offers of compromise and Caldebank offers, setting down for hearing, preparation for trial 
 Week 12 – 23 AprExpert evidence, briefing Counsel, conferences, court feesAssignment due (30%)
 Week 13 – 30 AprTrial, costs, enforcement of judgments and orders 
 Week 14 – 14 MayAlternative dispute resolution, ethical issues in litigation 
 Week 15 – 21 MayRevision 
 Week 16 – 28 May Final test. Open book (40%)
   
 Part Time Students  
Week Beginning (subject to variation) Topics Assessment
 Week 1 – 6 FebThe structure of the court system 
 Week 2 – 13 FebThe place of procedure in the legal system, historical development of procedure 
 Week 3 – 20 FebSources of procedure, steps before commencement of litigation 
 Week 4 – 27 FebWrits and Complaints, service 
 Week 5 – 5 MarAppearance, pleadings 
 Week 6 – 12 MarLabour Day holiday. No class. 
 Week 7 – 19 MarPleadings (continued), particulars, remedies for defective pleading, amendment of pleadingsShort answer, multiple choice test (30%)
Week 8  - 26 MarCounterclaims and set-offs, disposition without trialAssignment given out
 Week 9.1 - 2 AprJoinder of parties, third party procedure, contribution between defendants 
 Week 9.2– 9 Apr Mid semester Break (Student Vacation) - 5 to 11 April 
 Week 10 - 16 AprDiscovery of documents, interrogatories, notices to admit 
 Week 11 – 23 AprCourt control of interlocutory steps, case management 
 Week 12 – 30 AprSettlement negotiations, formal offers of compromise and Caldebank offers, setting down for hearing, preparation for trialAssignment due (20%)
 Week 13 – 7 MayExpert evidence, briefing Counsel, conferences, court fees 
 Week 14 – 14 MayTrial, costs, enforcement of judgments and orders 
 Week 15 – 21 MayAlternative dispute resolution, ethical issues in litigation 
 Week 16 – 28 May Final test. Open book (40%)


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed text for this course. Students will be required to be familiar with, among other things, relevant provisions of the Magistrates’ Court Civil Procedure Rules 2009  the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005 and the Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) which can be accessed at www.legislation.vic.gov.au.


References

Hunter, Cameron & Henning , Litigation I Civil Procedure, LexisNexis Butterworths

Riethmuller, Civil Procedure, LBC nutshell series

Sheen, Litigation, Resource Module VAD771/RM, Australian Training Products

Cairns, Australian Civil Procedure, LBC Information Services

Aronson, Hunter and Weinberg, Litigation – Evidence and Procedure, Butterworths

Williams, Civil Procedure, Victoria, Butterworths


Other Resources

Australasian Legal Information Institute (www.austlii.edu.au)

CCH Online (www.cch.com.au)

ComLaw (www.comlaw.gov.au)

LexisNexis Butterworths Online (www.butterworthsonline.com)

Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents (www.legislation.vic.gov.au)

High Court of Australia (www.hcourt.gov.au)

Federal Court of Australia (www.fedcourt.gov.au)

Federal Magistrates Court (www.fms.gov.au)

Supreme Court of Victoria (www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au)

County Court of Victoria (www.countycourt.vic.gov.au)

Magistrates’ Court of Victoria (www.magistratescourt.vic.gov.au)


Overview of Assessment

Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievement of the requirements in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks, for example:

• Test
• Practical exercise
• Assignment
• Class discussion
• Case study analysis
• Short answer questions
• Oral presentation
• Project (s)

Students are advised that they are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate their assessment work to their teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.


Assessment Tasks

Short answer/multiple choice test (closed book) 30%
Assignment 30%
Final test (open book) 40%

To pass this course students must satisfactorily complete all assessment and have a total mark of not less than 50%.

The Assignment must be submitted  via Blackboard. You should retain a copy of your Assignment (hard copy and soft copy).


Assessment Matrix

Learning outcomeWritten Test 1AssignmentWritten Test 2
Analyse, outline and assess the structure and purpose of the court system as it presently operates within Victoria X  
Assess the sources of procedural rules and practices in the Supreme Court X  
Analyse the steps prior to litigation and the commencement of litigation XX 
Assess the nature, function and form of pleadings, particulars and third party procedures XX
Analyse interlocutory procedures in defended actionsX X
Analyse and evaluate the process of preparation for trial, the enforcement of judgments or orders and costs  X
Evaluate and analyse non-litigious avenues of dispute resolution  X

Course Overview: Access Course Overview