Describe the court and the relevant jurisdiction (excluding Children’s Court and Family Court)
Assessment Two: Report of a Court Visit (1800 words worth 40%)
This assessment is designed to provide students with the experience of directly observing the processes of a court or tribunal. Attending court is described by many clients as overwhelming, confusing and alienating. The legal process can be complex and many opportunities for socio-legal interventions can be overlooked. Becoming familiar with how courts operate is really important for socio-legal practitioners. In particular, students are expected to demonstrate the ability to identify at their visit, the use of socio-legal interventions and/or points at which such interventions were or may have been, useful for the matter observed.
For this assessment, students are required to submit an 1800 word report of a self-directed court visit. Each student is required to attend a minimum half-day sitting at any court of their choice and report on the matter presented. Should students observe several matters, these may be presented together in the report write-up. However in order to ensure that the report is a coherent and fully integrated piece of work, students must clearly identify why these matters were presented together and identify the common themes. It is recommended that students choose a court in their local geographic area. The local Magistrates Courts should have regular domestic violence court days which can be attended and which lend themselves to socio-legal interventions. It is often helpful to speak to the Court Officer or Clerk to find out which court session may be the most appropriate to attend.
After attending court students are expected to:
- describe the court and the relevant jurisdiction (excluding Children’s Court and Family Court);
- present the nature of the matter(s) being dealt with and discuss the positions/roles of those involved with the presentation of evidence during the proceedings; and
- provide a concise analysis of all proceedings in relation to observed and possible socio-legal interventions that may have been helpful for the matters.
In addition to using your reading and relevant lecture material as a guide, it may be necessary to seek clarification by asking questions of a Court Officer or other personnel at the court. As this is an academic assignment, you are expected to include relevant literature. Remember, it is important to reference all your sources.
The word limit for your assignment in this course is 1,800 words. Please stay within the word limit. One of the skills you are expected to demonstrate is the ability to select material, as well as the ability to express yourself concisely. Failure to do this will result in a low mark. If an assignment is seriously over length, it will not be accepted and will have to be re-submitted
in a shorter form attracting a pass grade only.
Due Date: to be loaded onto Turnitin on Moodle on Monday 11th November at 9am.
Criteria for Assessment Marking
- Evidence of research – depth and breadth of sources.
- Ability to organise the information and address all of the main issues within the given word length.
- Written expression – the essay needs to be well written, exhibiting appropriate use of language (not colloquial or jargonistic), and providing examples where relevant.
- Evidence of analysis – each piece of work needs to critically examine rather than
simply describe the legal processes and socio-legal interventions observed.
A detailed marking rubric is available on Moodle.