Course Title: Arrange Legal Representation for Criminal Justice Clients

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

Course Code: JUST5152

Course Title: Arrange Legal Representation for Criminal Justice Clients

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6077 - Advanced Diploma of Justice

Course Contact : Scott Ashley

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 99252917

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 54

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

There are no pre-requisites for this course

Course Description

This course provides the skills and knowledge required to refer clients to: private lawyers, legal aid, pro bono legal assistance schemes and community legal centres. It includes an analysis of the role of Victoria Legal Aid, an explanation of the operation of specialist and generalist Community Legal Centres and an overview of pro bono assistance. It also includes an analysis of lawyers’ ethics and the procedures for making a complaint against a lawyer

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBQU385 Arrange Legal Representation for Criminal Justice Clients


1. Investigate the role and responsibility of defence lawyers in the criminal justice system

Performance Criteria:

1.1 The role, function and ethical duties of lawyers are explored
1.2 The responsibilities of lawyers in representing those accused of  criminal offences are analysed
1.3 Analysis is conducted to differentiate between the roles of
private and public legal personnel


2. Review the role, function, responsibilities and duties of Victoria Legal Aid

Performance Criteria:

2.1 The role, function and powers of the Director of Legal Aid are
2.2 The process for applying for a grant of legal assistance is


3. Examine the types of services offered by Victoria Legal Aid in relation to the criminal justice system

Performance Criteria:

3.1 The responsibilities of VLA in the provision of legal services are
3.2 The responsibility of VLA is analysed in relation to providing
legal representation to people charged with criminal offences
3.3 The services provided by VLA to criminal justice clients are
3.4 The services provided by VLA to criminal justice clients are


4. Investigate the types of services offered by generalist Community Legal Centres in relation to the criminal justice system

Performance Criteria:

4.1 A range of legal matters that are handled by generalist CLCs is
4.2 The CLC’s duties, responsibilities and powers are identified.
4.3 The differences between project work, community development
and direct service provision are identified.
4.4 The service provided to criminal justice clients by the CLC is


5. Examine the types of services offered by specialist Community Legal Centres in relation to the criminal justice system

Performance Criteria:

5.1 A range of legal matters that are handled by specialist CLCs are
5.2 The service provided to criminal justice clients by the specialist
CLC is evaluated


6. Analyse the availability of pro bono legal assistance in Victoria

Performance Criteria:

6.1 The origins of pro bono legal assistance are identified
6.2 The availability of pro bono legal assistance is analysed
6.3 The effectiveness of pro bono legal assistance schemes is


7. Analyse new forms of legal assistance

Performance Criteria:

7.1 The operation and effectiveness of email legal advice is
7.2 Sources of web based legal information are identified and


8. Analyse the process and procedures for complaints against lawyers

Performance Criteria:

8.1 The process for making complaints against lawyers is identified
8.2 The powers and role of Legal Services Board and
Commissioner are analysed

Learning Outcomes

See Elements

Details of Learning Activities

Students will participate in a variety of teaching methods including: lectures, tutorials, class discussion, seminar presentations, group/individual work on projects, audio-visual presentations, field excursions where applicable, on site visits, and interaction with individuals and groups within the criminal justice area

Teaching Schedule

Week One: Introduction and Overview of Subject - Lawyers and the Criminal Justice System

Week Two: The Role of Lawyers

Week Three: Introduction to Community Law

Week Four: The History and Role of Legal Aid

Week Five: On-line Legal Services

Week Six: Youth Law

Week Seven: Pro-Bono Legal Services

Week Eight: Evaluating Legal Representation/ Complaints Against Lawyers

Week Nine: Mid semester break

Week Ten: Research for reports

Week Eleven: Students to present findings on line

Week Twelve: Letter writing workshop

Week Thirteen: Revision. Letter to client due

Week Fourteen: Exam

Week Fifteen: Overview and evaluation-on-line


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

There are no prescribed texts for this course. Students are encouraged to use the Fitzroy Legal Service Law Handbook Online. The following websites have useful journal articles and discussion papers: 

The following journals are useful:
Alternative Law Journal
Law Institute Journal 

Alternative Learning Resources
The University Library provides extensive services, facilities and study space as well as comprehensive collections of books, periodicals and other course related materials, such as DVD’s, magazines, slides, films etc. Computer laboratories with access to a wide range of desktop publishing software are also available. The library also has an expanding virtual collection of electronic resources and networks, including product data, e-books, electronic journals and newspapers, web based tutorials, online reference and document delivery services etc., all of which are accessible on campus, and off campus 24 hours per day. More information on library resources and services can be found at: 

The Study and Learning Centre provides free learning and academic development advice to all RMIT students. For information on their services and support, please visit the website

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will consist of:

  1. Written assignments
  2. Participation in classroom and on-line debates and discussions
  3. Exam

Note: All assessment tasks must be satisfactorily completed

Assessment Tasks

There are 4 pieces of assessment in this subject; the assessment tasks are as follows:

1. Participation in On-line and Class Discussions (15%).
2. On-line Presentation (25%).
3. Letter to Client (40%)
4. Final Exam (20%)

Assessment Matrix

The assessments have been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table 7 which is as follows:
HD 80-100
DI 70-79
CR 60-69
PA 50-59
NN 0-49

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. In-text references must follow the APA style of referencing. In addition, you must provide a bibliography with correct and comprehensive details in relation to texts, articles, research reports and other sources that you have used
6. 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.
• 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.
• Loss or bereavement – e.g. death of a close family member, family/relationship breakdown.
• Hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.
Students must keep a copy of their assessment until the graded submission has been returned or marks have been posted.

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT student email address.

Applying for an Extension
Extension of time for assessment tasks may be granted where circumstances beyond your control prevent submission by the published due date. An application for extension of time must be lodged with your tutor or the course coordinator as early as possible, and no later than one working day before the due date for submission.
You can apply for extension using the University’s Extension Application Form – – or by emailing your course coordinator or tutor directly.
An extension of up to seven calendar days may be granted if good reason can be demonstrated. Include supporting evidence (such as medical certificates) with your application.
Extensions beyond seven calendar days cannot be granted by course coordinators, tutors or the School. To apply for an extension of time greater than seven calendar days you must lodge an application for Special Consideration.
Applying for Special Consideration
If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:
Penalties for Late Submission
If you have not been granted an extension or special consideration, late submission will be penalised as follows:
Assessment tasks submitted after the due date of submission shall receive a penalty of five per cent of the grades available for that assessment per day for each working day late.
No assessment task shall be accepted more than three weeks after the due date.
Assessment Appeals
If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:
• You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,

• You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,

• You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).

• Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site:
Academic Integrity
Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.
If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:
The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing
Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your 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. Plagiarism is not acceptable.
Examples of plagiarism include:
• Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
• Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
• Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
• Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
• Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
• Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work; and
• Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
• Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.
For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 – and the RMIT Student Discipline Statute and Regulations -;ID=11jgnnjgg70y
Plagiarism Software
The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview