Proctor : June 2019
14 PROCTOR | June 2019 The practical route to better advocacy QLS teams with institute for intensive workshop In 2017, Queensland Law Society identified a need for a practical course to upskill solicitors in delivering effective advocacy in courts and tribunals. As a result, the QLS Ethics and Practice Centre partnered with the Australian Advocacy Institute (AAI) to offer an intensive workshop covering these essential skills. The AAI was established in 1991 and is the premier provider of structured advocacy training through the Hampel method. Devised by Professor George Hampel QC, the training follows a six-stage method: • Headline: Identifying one particular aspect of the performance to be addressed. • Playback: Reproducing verbatim that identified aspect of the performance. • Reason: Explaining why this issue needs to be addressed. • Remedy: Explaining how to improve this aspect of the performance. • Demonstration: Demonstrating how to apply the remedy to the specific problem. • Replay: The pupil performs again, applying the remedy.1 The Hampel method is widely accepted as the preferred advocacy training method in Australia and the United Kingdom, and is also used in many other jurisdictions such as The Hague, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The teaching philosophy of AAI is based on 13 principles: 1. Competent advocacy is essential to serve the best interests of clients, community and justice. 2. Advocacy is characterised as the art of persuasion. 3. The practice must be in accordance with professional ethics and etiquette. 4. Advocacy consists of developed discipline, skills and techniques applied with such talent as each advocate has. 5. Effective courtroom communication skills are essential to advocacy as the art of persuasion. 6. Advocacy skills, techniques and discipline can be taught, learned and developed. 7. Advocacy skills are best taught and learned by the workshop method of: a. instruction b. demonstration c. performance d. review. 8. The focus of teaching is on preparation, analysis and performance. 9. The advocacy skills and techniques taught are generic and cross-jurisdictional. 10. Experience as an advocate alone is usually not sufficient. The approach to preparation, analysis and performance helps advocates to learn from their experience and develop their talent. 11. The emphasis in teaching is on: a. complete familiarity with factual and legal materials b. a method of analysis of those materials to produce a consistent case theory c. a method of preparation for the performance of specific advocacy tasks d. development of skills in legal argument, opening and closing addresses, evidence in chief and re-examination, cross-examination, written advocacy and communication skills. 12. The instructors are experienced and competent advocates, trained in the Hampel method and able to explain and demonstrate advocacy skills to the pupils. 13. The AAI is committed to the pursuit of excellence in advocacy by encouraging advocates to continue learning and equipping them with the ability to analyse their work and critically assess their performance. It also teaches them to identify members of the profession as potential instructors. It trains its instructors and continues to develop their skills in order to maintain quality and consistency in advocacy training. 2 The course is a hands-on workshop limited to 32 participants held at the courts for a full day. The ratio between participants and instructors is small to ensure that all participants receive individual attention. The instructors include judges, QCs, and senior solicitors who are passionate in assisting practitioners to learn and develop their advocacy skills and techniques. All candidates should be fully prepared both in their roles as advocate (and possibly as a witness) and in receiving feedback immediately from the instructors. The Society substantially subsidises the cost of this course for QLS members to enable our practitioners, particularly our younger colleagues, to participate. There are four levels to the AAI course: 1. foundations 2. advanced trial skills 3. advanced witness handling 4. appellate skills. The intention is that a practitioner can build on their skillset by advancing through the levels. The Society has recently conducted a speciality course in the family law area at the Family Court which was very well received. We are also bringing the course up to Cairns on 21-22 June 2019. Other dates of upcoming workshops can be found at qls.com.au/solicitoradvocate. We hope to continue to bring this course to our members for many years to come. BY GRACE VAN BAARLE Notes 1 The Council of the Inns of Court, ‘What is the Hampel Method?’, The Inns of Court College of Advocacy (web page), icca.ac.uk/advocacy-training/what-is-the- hampel-method. 2 George Hampel et al, Advocacy Manual (Australian Advocacy Institute, 2 nd ed, 2016), xxiv-xxv. Grace van Baarle is the Manager of the Queensland Law Society Ethics and Practice Centre.