Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


This course is designed to teach student lawyers about the theory and practice of advocacy in the criminal and children's justice systems with the knowledge that these skills will transfer to lawyering in many other settings. The clinic operates from the University of Newcastle Legal Centre and provides opportunities for students to participate in defence work preparing cases and assisting in representation of clients at the Local Courts and Children's Court in the Newcastle area under the close supervision of a Legal Centre lawyer. In weekly seminars students focus on client interviewing, fact investigation and case theory, particular types of criminal cases as well as the strategy, tactics and ethics of criminal defence work.


Not currently offered.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate advanced and applied understanding of the operation of theoretical legal principles in the practical legal settings of the criminal jurisdictions of the Local and Children¿s Courts.

2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of the criminal lawyer and the legal profession in the provision of a just and accessible legal system

3. Apply advanced legal practice skills and integrated theoretical understanding in dealing with clients in criminal legal practice, including the capacity to analyse and apply different theoretical models of client centred practice.

4. Exercise judgment and make informed and considered decision in a criminal legal practice environment

5. Work effectively and reliably in a professional environment, both individually and as a member of a team

6. Demonstrate high level research, analytical and oral and written communication skills.


Topics in this course include:

  1. Criminal Court management, procedure and protocols.
  2. Ethics and professional responsibility of criminal lawyers.
  3. Client interviewing and taking instructions in criminal matters
  4. Fact investigation and developing a case theory
  5. Strategy and tactics of criminal defence work
  6. Preparation and presentation of bail applications in Local and Children"s Courts.
  7. Preparation and presentation of pleas in mitigation in Local and Children"s Courts.
  8. Trial advocacy skills


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Juris Doctor/ Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice program.

Assumed knowledge

LAWS6001, LAWS6002A, LAWS6002B, LAWS6003A, LAWS6003B, LAWS6004A, LAWS6004B, LAWS6005.

Assessment items

Professional Task: Client communication practicum

Journal: Professional Reflective Journal

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case project