LW7081 - Advocacy (Witness Handling - Examination in Chief)

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What will I learn on this module?

This is a core module on the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and delivered across the Bar Professional Training portfolio of courses at Northumbria University. It is designed to reflect the nature of advocacy in relation to witness handling encountered in practice at the Bar before civil, criminal courts and other tribunals.

On completion of the module, you will be able to prepare, present and respond to a case, , both orally and in writing, before a criminal or civil court or other tribunal, either formally or informally. You will deliver advocacy persuasively, fluently and clearly at a sensible pace, adopting an appropriate structure, and abiding by the rules of evidence and professional conduct. You will have self- reflected on your own advocacy skills and those of your peers, evaluating source material and suggesting alternative approaches to practice.

In particular you will have:
• Learnt how to prepare a case effectively, understanding the relevant law, facts and principles, observing the rules of professional conduct and planning the advocacy task in question;
• Demonstrated basic advocacy skills in a range of criminal and civil trials, and before a range of tribunals;
• Prepared and delivered an opening speech and a closing speech,
• Prepared and demonstrated the ability to examine, cross-examine and re-examine witnesses.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered by a combination of large and small group sessions in addition to directed and independent learning.

The large group session will be delivered to the entire module cohort, and will be used to introduce students to the main principles of advocacy along with any specific requirements of particular submissions.

The small group sessions will be based around practical scenarios contained within papers that simulate those likely to be received in practice. These papers will allow you to apply the principles introduced in the large group sessions to specific, realistic cases and to practice advocacy skills in a broad range of trial situations before a variety of tribunals. Following the session you will be expected to reflect on your advocacy skills, any strengths demonstrated and any areas for improvement.
You will be expected to carry out independent learning to prepare for the small group sessions, expand on the areas introduced by the sessions and perform thorough case analysis, including the identification of any professional conduct issues.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The University is well placed to support you in learning and research with an excellent library and teaching facilities, access to on-line legal databases and resources and appropriate software.

This module will be managed by your designated Module Tutor who will be responsible for guiding you in your engagement and learning on the module. All relevant materials and instructions will be accessible on-line through the module eLP site, maintained by the Module Tutor, and will give guidance on advocacy skills and assessment. You may communicate with the Module Tutor by email or telephone and are encouraged to make contact if you encounter any difficulties relating to any aspect of the module.

Academic support is also available through individual, one-to-one feedback on your performances completed throughout the module in weekly small group sessions. This feedback is recorded and accessible via Panopto immediately after you have completed the advocacy exercise for that week. At a programme level you will be further supported by the Programme Leader who will provide pastoral support throughout the module and the programme as a whole.

The Programme Administration and Student Progress teams are responsible for the non-academic administration of the module; they will contact you throughout the duration of your module with details about the assessment, and other issues.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
At the end of the module you will have:
• Developed an ability to apply your knowledge of substantive legal rules, to practical problems in the context of witness handling advocacy exercises, including advancing a case in examination in chief and putting your client’s case in cross-examination.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Demonstrated advocacy skills in a range of criminal and civil scenarios, and an ability to prepare, present and respond to a case, persuasively, clearly and fluently abiding by the rules of evidence and professional conduct.

• Identified and clearly applied relevant legal principles, statutes and authorities to resolve practical problems and made appropriate use of the factual and legal issues in support of a case.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Prepared a comprehensive analysis of a case in advance of small group sessions, including the application of appropriate legal authorities and of evidence to the issues in the case.

• Reflected on your individual performance in small group sessions, to develop and improve your advocacy skills.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment: This will be provided throughout the module through self-reflective exercises and tasks performed on each recorded performance. Further formative assessment is provided by mock examinations, one for each of the assessments where you will receive detailed individual feedback.

Summative assessment: This will be provided through an oral assessment in the form of an examination in chief

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

This is a core module delivered on the Bar Professional Training Course. It is designed to reflect the nature of advocacy encountered in practice at the Bar before criminal and civil courts and other tribunals.

The module aims to develop the skill of Advocacy in the context of realistic ‘case study’ scenarios using experiential learning in order to facilitate the effective preparation and persuasive presentation of a case and to facilitate the effective and persuasive response to a case, both orally and in writing. This module will focus specifically on the skills required for witness handling, including examination-in-chief and cross-examination. Throughout the module, the skills of case analysis self-reflection will also be developed, to prepare you for life in practice and to equip you with the essential abilities to be a persuasive modern advocate.

Course info

Credits 10

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time
1 other options available

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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