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Year 12 Legal Studies Lesson Plan 1

Unit 4 AOS 1 Dispute Resolution Methods

1. Candice to hand back SACs and talk through problems [15 mins]

2. Criminal cases v Civil disputes Review [10 mins]

- Class discussion with table on whiteboard
- Differences between criminal cases and civil disputes:

Who are involved: Between the state and an
Between two parties
Prosecution (the state) v
Plaintiff (wronged party) v
Type of dispute: Actions that are against the
law, harmful to society
An infringement of rights
Aim: To protect society and sanction
To regulate conduct between
parties and provide
compensation to injured party
Consequences: Punishment/sanction Remedy to restore, as far as
possible, the plaintiff back to
where they were before the
infringement occurred
Burden of proof lies with: Prosecution Plaintiff
Standard of Proof at trial: Beyond reasonable doubt On the balance of probabilities
Example of laws: - homicide, assault, sexual
- theft, arson, fraud
- treason
- Tort law: negligence,
defamation, nuisance,
- Contract law
- Constitutional law
- Property law
- Family law

3. AOS 1.1 Reasons for the Existence of the Court Hierarchy [10 mins]

- Briefly state all reasons for Court Hierarchy

Doctrine of Precedent Decisions made in higher courts are biding on lower courts in the
same hierarchy
Appeals Can take the matter to a higher court if dissatisfied with decision

Expertise and Experience
Each court has developed their own areas of expertise
Different courts have different expertise and experience
Administrative Convenience

Time and Money
Distribution of cases according to their seriousness minor cases in
Magistrates Court, serious cases in higher courts
Smaller cases less expensive and heard more quickly

- Students to choose three of the above and expand (p299)
- Choose three Advantages and Disadvantages from of Court Hierarchy and add to notes (p301)

Allows the doctrine of precedent to operate, which
creates consistency and predictability
A precedent from a higher court may be
distinguished by a lower court, or a binding
precedent from a higher court may not be
appropriate to the circumstances before the lower
Allows the operation of appeals to superior courts It could be said that there are too many appeals
Administrative convenience more serious and
complex cases heard in higher courts by more
experienced judges
More administrative personnel needed to run the
different courts
Specialisation the courts are able to specialise in
their particular area of law
There are more courts a single court would be
easier for people to find, as all matters would be
hear at the same place
Fewer delays are likely because less-complicated
cases are heard in the lower courts and are not
mixed in with the more complicated cases
Parties to cases in the lower courts are not receiving
the same high level of judicial expertise as parties in
higher courts

4. AOS 1.2 Court Jurisdictions [2 mins]

- Original Jurisdiction: The power a court has to hear cases at first instance
- Appellate Jurisdiction: The power that a court has to hear appeals brought to it from courts
lower in the hierarchy

5. Court Jurisdiction Activity [15 mins]

- Put blank table on screen and direct students to fill it in accordingly

Original Criminal Original Civil Appellate Criminal Appellate Civil

Court of
- Appellate arm of
supreme court
- Highest authority in Vic
- Hears appeals from
County and Supreme
Same as criminal - Hears appeals on
points of law,
severity of sanction

- Hears appeals on points
of law, questions of fact
and damages awarded

- All major indictable
offences (murder)

- Unlimited

Hears appeals on
points of law from
Magistrates Court
Hears appeals on points of
law from Magistrates
Court and VCAT

- Hears indictable
offences except


- Hears appeals from
Magistrates Court
on severity of

- Summary offences/
indictable offences held
- Committal hearings
- Bail applications
- Applications for

- Civil claims up
to $100,000
- Arbitration to


6. Court Jurisdiction Scenario Activity [10 mins]

- Determine which court would hear each case
- Located in separate powerpoint document
- Year 11 Textbook (p172 & p282) for guidance

Jim has committed the summary offence of speeding Magistrates Court Original Jurisdiction
Chris has an excellent lawyer and is hoping that his case will
be dismissed in the committal hearing
Magistrates Court Original Jurisdiction
Rachael is applying for bail as she has three kids to care for Magistrates Court Original Jurisdiction
Detective Sargent ONeil believes the Hells Angels have
illegal weapons in their club house and is applying for a
warrant to search the premises.
Magistrates Court Original Jurisdiction
Kim has committed an indictable offence but has been
advised by her legal counsel to have the case heard
Magistrates Court Original Jurisdiction
A dispute between neighbours for damage to a car and
garage to the value of $50,000
Magistrates Court Original Jurisdiction
Ellen is suing Ben for defamatory statements made on
facebook claiming damages of $70,000
Magistrates Court Original Jurisdiction
Andrew familiar to police has been arrested and charged
with armed robbery
County Court Original Jurisdiction
Jill and Craig planned and executed the murder of Craigs
wife Sarah
Supreme Court Original Jurisdiction
Kat was found guilty of violating numerous local council laws
on the ownership of exotic animals (pets) on her property in
the Magistrates Court she wishes to appeal the decision
based on the severity of the sanction
Court of Appeal Appellate Jurisdiction
Dan hired Quick Construction to build his dream home at
the cost of $550,000, however upon inspection he saw a tin
shed with no plumbing or electricity he is suing for
County/Supreme Court Original
Jurisdiction (Civil)
Pump it Fitness used the slogan Fitness made Fun for a
recent membership drive knowing that their competition
Abs of Steel used the same phrase on their promotional
material and have done so for nearly 10 years.
Abs of Steel are seeking compensation of 2.3 million for
breach of trademark
County/Supreme Court Original
Jurisdiction (Civil)
Troy is a serial offender when it comes to the vandalism of
private property and had his most recent case heard in the
Magistrates Court in Ringwood. He is appealing his case
based on a new legal principle he wishes to argue in court.
Court of Appeal Appellate Jurisdiction
Tim and Bec have had on going issues with the landscaping
company they hired to work on their property. Their original
civil case was heard in the Magistrates Court but they wish to
appeal based on a point of law.
Supreme Court Appellate Jurisdiction
Victoria believes that the decision made by the Supreme
Court jury in her manslaughter case was bias and wishes to
appeal the guilty verdict
Court of Appeal Appellate Jurisdiction
Easy Gone a stain removal company are unhappy with the
outcome of a civil case that found them liable for injuries
(burns to her hands) sustained by a customer when she used
their product. They believe that an important point of law
was not discussed in the Supreme Court - they have sacked
their legal representative and hired a new Barrister to
present the appeal case.
Supreme Court Appellate Jurisdiction
Wanting to avoid the formal court system James used VCAT
to resolve his dispute with a local tradesman, however he is
bitterly disappointed and is willing to spend the money and
appeal the outcome in Court.
Supreme Court (Trial Division) Appellate
Jurisdiction (Civil)
Sid is determined to see justice done and cannot believe he
was found guilty of an attack on an elderly citizen. The
original case in the County Court saw Sid convicted of the
crime but he believes he has new evidence proving his
innocence and wishes to appeal.
Court of Appeal Appellate Jurisdiction
Julia received damages of $700,000 as a result of injuries
sustained at a Theme Park from a moving ride she has
limited mobility in her left hand. The Theme Park believe
that the damages awarded are excessive and over
compensate the plaintiff they wish to appeal to have the
damages reduced.
Supreme Court (Court of Appeal)
Appellate Jurisdiction (Civil)
A long suffering teacher yells abuse and throws a text book
and other nearby items at an unruly student (who
completely deserved it) she is dismissed by the school but
the family of the student wish to sue for damages of
County/Supreme Court Original
Jurisdiction (Civil)

7. Any spare time

- VCAA Questions

8. Homework

- Weekly homework due next Tuesday