Course Title: Civil procedure

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 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

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Bradley Deacon - Teacher


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

A range of learning experiences are planned for this course including class and online activities, group problem solving and group debates.

Teaching Schedule

Prior to training commencement a program level induction session will be conducted that comprises the following:

• Program overview and requirements
• MyRMIT/Blackboard
• Overview of assessment requirements
• Pre-Training Review including:
  o Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers
  o Assessment of current skills and knowledge
• Competency/Grading Criteria
• Plagiarism
• Appeals
• Extensions
• Feedback
• Privacy
• Submission requirements
• Resubmission policy
• Where to get support
• Student responsibilities
The nominal hours associated with this course 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.




Assessment Tasks

17th July

Introduction to the Course including:
• Course requirements
• Course support documents
• Course Blackboard access
• Accuracy of enrolment
• Assessment requirements/Cover Sheets
• Plagiarism
• Appeals
• Submission requirements
• Extensions/Resubmissions
• Feedback in this course
• Getting help

The structure of the court system

214th July The place of procedure in the legal system, historical development of procedure 
321st July

 Sources of procedure, steps before commencement of litigation


428th July Writs and Complaints, service  
54th Aug Appearance, pleadings 
611th Aug

 Pleadings (continued), particulars, remedies for defective pleading, amendment of pleadings


718th  Aug Counterclaims and set-offs, disposition without trial 
825th Aug Joinder of parties, third party procedure, contribution between defendants 
   1-7 September -  Mid Semester break
98th Sep

 Discovery of documents, interrogatories, notices to admit

1015th Sep

 Court control of interlocutory steps, case management


1122nd Sep

 Settlement negotiations, formal offers of compromise and Caldebank offers, setting down for hearing, preparation for trial


1229th Sep

 Expert evidence, briefing Counsel, conferences, court fees

Assessment Task 1 due

136th Oct

 Trial, costs, enforcement of judgments and orders

1413th Oct

 Alternative dispute resolution, ethical issues in litigation

1520st Oct Revision Assessment Task 2 due
1627th Oct Final Test Final Test

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

It is recommended that you have access to a mobile computing device to allow greater flexibility in terms of where you can work on campus outside class times.

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

To demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes in this course the following evidence is essential:

• Knowledge of Family Law and the related fields of de facto relationships, and the enforcement of Family Law Court orders
• Identifying the provisions of the Family Law in relation to dissolving of a marriage, custody and guardianship of children after parental separation, spousal maintenance and children maintenance
• Identifying the property rights and orders under the Family Act with regards to altering property rights and determining the property order used by the Family Court
• Knowledge of constitutional and legislative provisions under the domestic partnerships order than marriage
• Analysing the Family Violence Protection Act in relation to protection given and the consequences of breaching the order
• Evaluating the provisions of the Adoption Act and the consequences for the parties involved in the event of an adoption order
• Identifying the organisations which help parties in a relationship under stress
• Determining the basis upon which an appeal may be made, and identify the appeal procedures when making an appeal to the Family Court

In order to pass this course you must successfully complete 3 assessment tasks:

Assessment Task 1 - Statement of Claim (30%)
Due Date:  1 October 2014
Submission Procedure:  Online via Blackboard

The purpose of this assessment is for you to review a scenario and apply your knowledge of Civil Procedure to prepare a statement of claim whilst also reinforcing writing skills in summarising the facts of the scenario.

Assessment Task 2 - Seven weekly forum posts (40%)
Due Date:  22 October 2014
Submission Procedure:  Online (Blackboard) replies to Forum Post Question and Online reply to one other student

The purpose of this assessment is to reinforce weekly materials covered in class and to engage with other students in an open discussion forum to discuss the topic question for the week.

Assessment Task 3 - Open Book Exam (30%)
Due Date:  27 October 2014
Submission Procedure: In class online open book exam.

The purpose of this assessment is to test your knowledge with regards to all the content covered.


Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions.  You are encouraged to ask and answer questions during class time and online sessions so that you can obtain feedback on your understanding of the concepts and issues being discussed.  Finally, you can email or arrange an appointment with your teacher to gain more feedback on your progress.

You should take note of all feedback received and use this information to improve your learning outcomes and final performance in the course.

Assessment Matrix

Marking Guide:

You will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you how well you are performing.

Please refer to the Final Grades table below:

80-100HDHigh Distinction
DNSDNSDid Not Submit for assessment

Further information regarding the application of the grading criteria will be provided by your teacher.

Other Information

Submission Requirements

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 extensions of time. (Please refer to the information in the Late Submission Procedure section below)
   • If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program manager or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
• 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
• Each page of your assessment should include a footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment,
unit code and title and page numbers.

Late Submission Procedures

If you are prevented from submitting an assessment on time, by circumstances outside your control, you must apply in advance for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days.
  More Information:
  Form to use:

Where an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for special consideration. Applications for special consideration must be submitted no later than two working days after the assessment task deadline or scheduled examination.
More Information:;ID=g43abm17hc9w
Form to use:

If you fail an assessment  you will be allowed one resubmission only.  Your teacher will provide feedback regarding what you need to do to improve and will set a new deadline for the resubmission. The highest grade you will receive if your resubmission is successful is Pass.  If you are still not meeting the assessment requirements you must apply to your Program Manager in writing outlining the steps you will take to demonstrate competence in your course. Your submission will be considered by the Program Team and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible.

Adjustments to Assessment
In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment.  For more information about the circumstances under which the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following website:
More Information:;ID=kehn9bz22r41

Course Overview: Access Course Overview