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Entrance Examination

Victorian Bar Readers’ Course


General information for candidates
intending to sit the exam on 3 November 2017

22 August 2017

Purpose of Exam

• The aim of the entrance exam is to ensure that those admitted to the course have
basic levels of competence and can demonstrate aptitude for the skills required of a
barrister.

Exam features

• The exam is not completely ‘closed book’. Extracts of examinable statutory


provisions, regulations and quasi-legislation will be provided to candidates in the
examination room. See below for further information concerning the ‘Legislation
Booklet’ that will be provided.
• The exam is 3 hours in duration, preceded by 30 minutes perusal time.
• The exam will examine understanding of procedure (both civil procedure and
criminal procedure), evidence and legal ethics.
• Candidates should assume that Victorian law applies to all questions asked.
• The exam will comprise a mix of multiple choice, short answer and long answer
questions. Questions in the exam are otherwise of two general types:
o “Pure Rule” questions: designed to test the candidate’s knowledge of a
particular rule or principle without application to a stated factual matrix
(e.g., “Q1: What is ‘hearsay evidence’?” requires the candidate to define
hearsay evidence).
o “Application” questions: designed to test both the candidate’s knowledge
and ability to apply rules and principles to a stated factual matrix (e.g. “Q2:
The prosecution intends to tender into evidence Jane’s statement made to
police as proof of what it asserts. Will the prosecution be permitted to do
so?” requires the candidate to demonstrate an understanding of the hearsay
rule, and its exceptions, by applying the applicable rules of evidence to a
given set of facts).
• The majority of questions in the exam are Application questions. Accordingly,
most marks will be allocated to how well a candidate applies a rule or principle in
a given context.
• Candidates are not required to cite case names and may restate principles of law or
rules in their own words.

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• The standard of expression, spelling, punctuation, grammar and conciseness will be
taken into account in the assessment of a candidate’s answers.
• Responses must be legible.
• A pass mark of 75% is the minimum entry requirement.

Preparing for the Exam

• The Reading Guide (attached to this document) lists all examinable subject matter.
• Prospective candidates are referred to the Victorian Bar website where past exams
with sample answers can be downloaded.
• An exam preparation seminar will be conducted by the Chief Examiner on a date to
be announced. The seminar will canvass various examination preparation strategies
and consider a sample of answers to questions in a previous examination and how
marks may be achieved. Further information about the seminar (including the exact
time and venue) will be made available on the Victorian Bar website.

Legislation

• Digitalized (PDF) extracts of the examinable provisions will be available to


download from the Victorian Bar website on 3 October 2017.
• This legislation will be reproduced in hard copy and provided to candidates in the
examination room. Candidates must not bring their own hard copies of the
legislation to the examination.
• The provisions as contained in the legislation published on the Victorian Bar
website on 3 October 2017 are deemed to remain static for the purposes of the
examination. Any legislative amendments or any case law taking effect after
publication (but prior to the examination) will be deemed to be ineffective and
should therefore be ignored.
• Candidates may assume that provisions that do not appear in the published
legislation will not be specifically examined.
• Application/interpretation of the examinable provisions will be discussed in
prescribed texts and case law (which candidates will not be permitted to have in the
examination room). It is therefore up to individual candidates to familiarize
themselves with how the provisions are applied in particular case contexts.

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Victorian Bar Readers’ Course

Entrance Examination

Reading Guide

Victorian Bar Entrance Examinations - General Information about exam for 3 November 2017 3
CIVIL PROCEDURE

Legislation
The following topics/statutory provisions are examinable. Extracts of these provisions
will be provided to candidates when they sit the examination.

Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 (Vic)

• Order 4 (Process in the Court)


• Order 9 (Joinder of Claims and Parties)
• Order 10 (Counterclaim)
• Order 11 (Third Party Procedure)
• Order 13 (Pleadings)
• Order 22 (Summary Judgment)
• Order 23 (Summary Stay or Dismissal of Claim and Striking Out Pleading)
• Order 26 (Offers of Compromise and Offers to Compromise on Appeal)
• Order 29 (Discovery and Inspection of Documents)
• Order 32 (Preliminary Discovery and Discovery from Non-Party)
• Order 36 (Amendment)
• Order 37 (Inspection, Detention and Preservation of Property)
• Order 37A (Freezing Orders)
• Order 38 (Injunctions)
• Order 42 (Subpoenas)
• Order 43 (Affidavits)
• Order 44 (Expert Evidence)
• Order 45 (Originating Motion)
• Order 46 (Applications)
• Order 47 (Place and Mode of Trial)
• Order 49 (Trial)
• Order 62 (Security for Costs)

Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic)

• Chapter 1 (Preliminary) – ss 1, 4 and 6


• Chapter 2 (Overarching Purpose and Obligations)
o Part 2.1 (Overarching Purpose) – ss 7 to 9
o Part 2.2 (Application of the Overarching Obligations) – ss 10 to 15
o Part 2.3 (The Overarching Obligations) – ss 16 to 27
o Part 2.4 (Sanctions for Contravening the Overarching Obligations) – ss 28
to 31
• Chapter 4 (Commencement and Conduct of Civil Proceedings)
o Part 4.1 (Certification Requirements) – ss 41 to 46
o Part 4.2 (Case management) – ss 47 to 53
o Part 4.3 (Disclosure and Discovery) – ss 54 to 59

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o Part 4.4 (Summary Judgment) – ss 60 to 65
• Chapter 5 (Appropriate Dispute Resolution) – ss 66 to 69

Selected case law

• Fafoutellis v The Blockage Bloke Pty Ltd [2017] VSC 480


• Hera Project Pty Ltd v Bisognin (No 4) 2017 VSC 270
• Nicholson Street Pty Ltd v Letten (No 4) [2017] VSC 307
• Ramadge v Northern Health [2017] VSC 281
• Raventhorpe Pty Ltd v Westpac Banking Corporations [2017] VSC 362
• Trkulja v Dobrijevic (No 2) [2016] VSC 596

Note: The above list of cases is not exhaustive of the principles that are examinable.
Candidates are, however, expected to be familiar with their factual matrices and how
the relevant rules and principles have been applied.

Prescribed Text

• David Bailey and John Arthur, Civil Procedure Victoria (formerly known as
“Williams, Civil Procedure Victoria”). Available online from LexisNexis.

Other recommended reading

• Richard Cook, The Annotated Rules of Court (2014, 12th edition), Vol 1

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
Candidates will be expected to have a good understanding of:

• Prosecution and Defence


• Criminal jurisdiction of Magistrates' Court, County Court and Supreme Court in
Victoria
• Police powers - including arrest, search and seizure, questioning suspects, pre-trial
forensic procedures
• Commencing proceedings
• Bail
• Summary Procedure
• Committal Proceedings
• Trial on Indictment
• Sentencing
• Appeals and Cases Stated

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Note: Subject areas listed above roughly correspond with subject matter covered in
chapters 2 to 11 of Richard Fox, Victorian Criminal Procedure (2015), the prescribed
text.

Legislation
The following topics/statutory provisions are examinable. Extracts of these provisions
will be provided to candidates when they sit the examination.

Bail Act 1977 (Vic)

• Part 1 (Preliminary) – ss 3A
• Part 2 (Granting of Bail and Admission to Bail) – ss 4 to 10, 12, 13, 17
• Part 5 (Miscellaneous) – ss 30, 30A, 30B

Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic)

• Chapter 2 (Commencing a Criminal Proceeding)


o Part 2.1 – s 5
o Part 2.2 – ss 6 to 11
o Part 2.3 – ss 12 to 16
• Chapter 3 (Summary Procedure)
o Part 3.1 – ss 27 to 30
o Part 3.2 – ss 31, 32, 35, 37 to 39, 41 to 47, 50 to 55
o Part 3.3 – ss 56 to 61, 63 to 84, 87
• Chapter 4 (Committal Proceeding)
o Part 4.1 – ss 96 to 100
o Part 4.2 – ss 101, 102
o Part 4.4 – ss 107 to 112
o Part 4.5 – ss 118 to 120, 124
o Part 4.6 – ss 125 to 127
o Part 4.7 – ss 128 to 132, 132A
o Part 4.9 – ss 141, 143, 144
• Chapter 5 (Trial on Indictment)
o Part 5.1 – s 158
o Part 5.2 – ss 159 to 170
o Part 5.3 – s 171
o Part 5.4 – ss 177, 178
o Part 5.5 – ss 179 to 185, 188 to 200
o Part 5.6 – ss 207 to 209
o Part 5.7 – s 210, 215, 217, 222 to 226, 231 to 238, 244, 245, 249
• Chapter 6 (Appeals and Cases States)
o Part 6.1 – ss 254 to 259, 263 to 268
o Part 6.2 – ss 272, 273
o Part 6.3 – ss 274 to 308

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• Chapter 8 (General)
o Part 8.1 – ss 328 to 331
o Part 8.5 – s 412
• Schedule 1 (Charges on a Charge-Sheet or Indictment)

Jury Directions Act 2015 (Vic)

• Part 1 (Preliminary) – ss 1, 3, 4
• Part 2 (General) – ss 5, 6, 7
• Part 3 (Request for Directions) – ss 9 to 12, 14 to 17
• Part 4 (Evidential Directions) – ss 18 to 44
• Part 5 (Sexual Offences) – ss 45 to 54
• Part 6 (Family Violence) – ss 55 to 60
• Part 7 (General Directions) – ss 61 to 67

Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic)

• Part 1 (Preliminary) – s 1
• Part 2 (Governing Principles) – ss 5, 6, 6AAA
• Part 3 (Sentences - custodial) – ss 7, 8, 8A, 8B, s 8E, s 8K, 8L, 8Q, 9, 11, 11A, 16,
18, 32 to 35
• Part 3A (Sentences – Community Correction Orders) – ss 36 to 48LA
• Part 3B (Sentences – Fines) – ss 49 to 54
• Part 3BA (Sentences – Other Orders) – ss 70, 72 to 77, 80, 83A
• Part 4 (Orders in Addition to Sentence) – ss 84 to 89DE
• Part 5 (Mentally Ill Offenders) – ss 90 to 94C
• Part 10 (Miscellaneous Provisions) – ss 109, 112, 112A, 113 to 113C

Selected case law

• DPP v Asling (No 8) [2017] VSC 84


• Elakkoumi v DPP [2017] VSCA 186
• R v Barker [2017] VSC 57
• Chol v R [2016] VSCA 252

Note: The above list of cases is not exhaustive of the principles that are examinable.
Candidates are, however, expected to be familiar with their factual matrices and how
the relevant rules and principles have been applied.

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Prescribed Texts

• Richard Fox, Victorian Criminal Procedure (2015, The Federation Press)


• Judicial College of Victoria, Victorian Sentencing Manual updated periodically
(only available online at
http://www.justice.vic.gov.au/emanuals/VSM/default.htm )

EVIDENCE
Candidates will be expected to have a good understanding of:

• Examination and cross-examination of witnesses, including the rules in Browne v


Dunn and Jones v Dunkel
• Relevance and exclusionary discretions
• Circumstantial evidence
• The rule against hearsay and its exceptions (including admissions)
• Credibility and character evidence
• Privilege (all forms)
• Opinion and expert evidence
• Tendency and coincidence evidence
• Identification evidence
• Illegally/improperly obtained evidence
• Unreliable evidence
• Documentary evidence
• Procedure on questions of admissibility of evidence

Legislation

The following topics/statutory provisions are examinable. Extracts of these provisions


will be provided to candidates when they sit the examination.

Evidence Act 2008 (Vic)

• Part 1.2 (Application of Act) – ss 4, 8, 9


• Part 2.1 (Witnesses) – ss 12, 13, 17, 18, 20, 32 to 35, 37 to 39, 41 to 43, 45, 46
• Part 2.2 (Documents) – s 48
• Part 3.1 (Relevance) – ss 55, 56
• Part 3.2 (Hearsay) – ss 59 to 75
• Part 3.3 (Opinion) – ss 76 to 80
• Part 3.4 (Admissions) – ss 81 to 90
• Part 3.6 (Tendency and Coincidence) – ss 94 to 101
• Part 3.7 (Credibility) – ss 101A to 104, 106 to 108

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• Part 3.8 (Character) – ss 109 to 112
• Part 3.9 (Identification Evidence) – ss 113 to 115
• Part 3.10 (Privilege) – ss 117 to 134
• Part 3.11 (Discretionary and Mandatory Exclusions) – ss 135 to 139
• Part 4.1 (Standard of Proof) – ss 140 to 142
• Part 4.2 (Judicial Notice) – s 144
• Part 4.3 (Facilitation of Proof) – ss 146, 147
• Part 4.5 (Warnings and Information) – ss 165 to 165A
• Chapter 5 (Miscellaneous) – ss 189, 190, 192, 192A

Note: examinable provisions of the Jury Directions Act 2015 that have evidentiary
implications are listed in the Criminal Procedure section above.

Selected case law

• Hughes v The Queen [2017] HCA 20


• IMM v The Queen [2016] HCA 14
• R v Adams (No 5) [2016] NSWSC 1563
• R v Dickman [2017] HCA 24
• Svajcer v Woolworths Ltd (Ruling) [2015] VSC 543
• Wilson v Bauer Media (No 7) [2017] VSC 357

Note: The above list of cases is not exhaustive of the principles that are examinable.
Candidates are, however, expected to be familiar with their factual matrices and how
the relevant rules and principles have been applied.

Prescribed Text

• Stephen Odgers, Uniform Evidence Law (12th ed, 2016). This is available from
Monash Law Book Co-Operative Ltd, University of Melbourne Bookshop and the
Law Institute of Victoria Bookshop. Only Victorian provisions are examinable.

LEGAL ETHICS
Candidates will be expected to have a good understanding of:

• The Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015


• Ethical obligations particular to civil or criminal proceedings
• Duties in relation to costs disclosure and conditional costs agreements

Legislation
The following topics/statutory provisions are examinable. Extracts of these provisions
will be provided to candidates when they sit the examination.

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Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015

• All rules contained in the Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules
2015 are examinable. The rules can be downloaded via web links provided on the
Australian Bar Association website: http://www.austbar.asn.au/archives/2102
• Note: Section 431 of Schedule 1 of the Legal Professional Uniform Law
Application Act 2014 (Vic) provides that publication of Uniform Rules are to be
published on the NSW legislation website in accordance with Part 6A of the
Interpretation Act 1987 (NSW). Accordingly, candidates are advised that searching
for the Uniform Rules via Victorian legislation databases is unlikely to yield the
desired result.

Legal Profession Uniform Law (Schedule 1 of the Legal Profession


Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (Vic))

• Part 4.3 (Legal Costs)


o Division 1 ( Introduction) – ss 169 to 171
o Division 2 (Legal costs generally) – ss 172 to 173
o Division 3 (Costs disclosure) – ss 174 to 178
o Division 4 (Costs agreements) – ss 179 to 185
o Division 5 (Billing) – ss 186 to 193
• Part 5.4 (Disciplinary Matters)
o Division 1 (Preliminary) – ss 295 to 298
o Division 2 (Determination by local regulatory authority) – s 299
o Division 3 (Role of designated tribunal) – ss 300 to 305

Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic)

• See the list of examinable provisions in the section on Civil Procedure above.
Candidates will appreciate that many of the examinable provisions in this statute
have ethical content.

Selected case law

• Stirling v Legal Services Commissioner [2013] VSCA 374


• Legal Services Commissioner v Turner [2012] VSC 394
• Yara Australia Pty Ltd v Oswal [2013] VSCA 337

Note: The above list of cases is not exhaustive of the principles that are examinable.
Candidates are, however, expected to be familiar with their factual matrices and how
the relevant rules and principles have been applied.

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