Course Title: Civil procedure

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

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

Doug Cole
Course Contact Phone +61 3 9925 5424
Course Contact Email doug.cole@rmit.edu.au
 

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.

Classes of 3 hours per week for 16 weeks as per the teaching schedule. The nominal hours associated with this are a guide only and represent the total teaching time and student effort required to successfully complete the course. This may include not only scheduled classes but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.
The week by week classes as per the teaching schedule below and assessments, including due dates, are subject to variation. Class teachers will to keep as close as practicable to that set out in this Part B Statement.

Course requirements: students should  consult their  timetable and are expected to attend all scheduled classes
Course support documents: see RMIT Blackboard
Student Induction: conducted prior to commencement of classes or during the first class and will cover the following: Blackboard, Overview of assessment requirements including Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers, Grading, Plagiarism, Appeals,Extensions,Feedback,Privacy, Submission requirements, Resubmission policy, Where to get support, Student responsibilities
 


Teaching Schedule

Week (subject to variation) Date                                      TopicsLearning Outcomes/ assessment criteriaAssessment
 Week 1 10 FebThe structure of the court system           
 Week 2 17 FebThe place of procedure in the legal system, historical development of procedure  
 Week 3 24 FebSources of procedure, steps before commencement of litigation  
 Week 4 3 MarWrits and Complaints, service, appearance  
 Week 5 10 MarPleadings, particulars, remedies for defective pleading, amendment of pleadings  Assignment given out
 Week 6 17 MarCounterclaims and set-offs, disposition without trial  
 Week 7 24 Mar Joinder of parties, third party procedure, contribution between defendants Short answer, multiple choice test (30%)
 Week 8 31 MarDiscovery of documents, interrogatories, notices to admit  
 Week 9 7 AprCourt control of interlocutory steps, case management, settlement negotiations, formal offers of compromise and Caldebank offers  
 Week 10 14 AprSetting down for hearing, preparation for trial, expert evidence, briefing Counsel, conferences, court fees  Assignment due (30%)
  Mid semester Break (Student Vacation) 18 Apr to 27 Apr  
 Week 11 28 AprTrial, costs, enforcement of judgments and orders  
 Week 12 5 MayPractical placement  
 Week 13 12 MayPractical placement  
 Week 14 19 MayAlternative dispute resolution, ethical issues in litigation  
 Week 15 25 MayRevision  
Week 16 2 Jun  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

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 Circuit Court (www.federalcircuitcourt.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

1. Class test  30%
2 .Assignment 30%
3. Final test40%


Description of Assessments

1. Short answer/multiple choice test (closed book)

2. Assignmebt requiring preparation of a writ and statement of claim. Students may be required to answer oral questions regarding the assignment.

3. Hypothetical scenario test (open book)


Students must demonstrate an understanding of all elements of competency to be deemed competent.
A range of assessment methods may be used to assess practical skills and knowledge, for example:
* tests and examinations in formal settings
* assignments, projects and case study analysis
* direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence
* review of authenticated documents from the workplace or training environment
* demonstration of techniques
* Class presentation

Assessment Grading
HD High Distinction 80-100 4point values to GPA
DI Distinction 70-79 3point values to GPA
CR Credit 60-69 2point values to GPA
PA Pass 50-59 1point value to GPA
NN Pass 0-49 nil
Critical aspects of assessment
• Knowledge of litigation and civil procedure including civil
jurisdiction, structure, procedure and operation of the civil
courts system in Victoria
• Analysis of the structure, procedures and operation of the
court systems in Victoria
• Assessment of the nature, function and form of pleadings,
particulars and third party procedures
• Examination of interlocutory procedures in defended actions
• Analysis of the preparation process for trial, and the
enforcement of judgements or orders and costs
• Evaluation of alternative avenues of dispute resolution
including collaborative law in a case study

 


Assessment completion requirements

You are required to complete 3 assessment tasks.
To pass this course students must attempt assessments as required which are graded upon submission by the class assessor.
Grading is weighted so that a mark of 50% is a passing grade.

Assessment submission requirements

Assessment tasks need to be submitted via turnitin on Blackboard unless otherwise advised.

You should:

* Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date. If your performance in the assessment is affected by unexpected circumstances, you should consider applying for Special Consideration. Information on the process and application forms is available at http://rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=ls0ydfokry9rz website.
* Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks. (hard copy and soft copy)
* When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of work for assessment is available on blackboard.
* Each page of your assessment should include footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers. For example, Julie Macpherson, 324567, Task 2, OHS2345C Ensure safe workplace, Page 1 of 10.


 


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 VictoriaX  
Assess the sources of procedural rules and practices in the Supreme CourtX  
Analyse the steps prior to litigation and the commencement of litigationXX 
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