U401 disputeresolutionmethods


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U401 disputeresolutionmethods

  1. 1. Area  of  Study  1     Resolution  Bodies  &  Methods   Unit  4  Resolution  &  Justice  
  2. 2. Introduction  to  Unit  4   !  Aim  to  explain  the  differences   between  criminal  and  cases  and   civil  disputes.   !  Criminal  cases  and  civil  disputes   are  the  main  focus  of  Unit  4   !  Refer  to  Justice  &  Outcomes   textbook  pp  294-­‐5     “Differences  between  criminal   and  civil  disputes”   2  
  3. 3. Outcome  U401   !  You  should  be  able  to   describe  and  evaluate  the   effectiveness  of  institutions   and  methods  for  the   determination  of  criminal   cases  and  the  resolution  of   civil  disputes   3  
  4. 4. Key  knowledge   !  Reasons  for  court  hierarchy   !  Original  and  appellate  jurisdictions  of  the  Victorian  Magistrate’s  Court,   County  Court  and  Supreme  Court  (Trial  Division  and  Court  of  Appeal)   !  Role  of  the  Victorian  Civil  and  Administrative  Tribunal  (VCAT)   !  Dispute  resolution  methods  used  by  courts  and  VCAT,  including   mediation,  conciliation,  arbitration  and  judicial  determination   !  Strengths  and  weaknesses  of  dispute  resolution  methods  used  by   courts  and  VCAT   !  Strengths  and  weaknesses  of  the  way  courts  and  VCAT  operate  to   resolve  disputes   4  
  5. 5. Key  Terms   !  Alternative  dispute  resolution  (ADR)   !  Arbitration   !  Conciliation   !  Judicial  determination   !  Jurisdiction   !  Mediation   !  Recidivist   !  VCAT   5  
  6. 6. Dispute  Resolution  Bodies   The  Courts  and  VCAT  
  7. 7. Victorian  Court  System   !  Jurisdiction  –  to  the  power  that  courts  have  to  hear  cases   arising  from  particular  areas  of  law.  It  indicates  the  type  of   cases  courts  can  adjudicate  on   !  Original  jurisdiction  –  hearing  a  case  for  the  first  time   !  Appellate  jurisdiction  –  hearing  a  case  on  appeal   7  
  8. 8. Reasons  for  court  hierarchy   !  Doctrine  of  precedent     !  Precedent  relies  on  higher  courts  making  statements  of  law  that   are  binding  on  lower  courts  in  the  same  hierarchy   !  Appeals   !  A  hierarchy  allows  parties  to  appeal  to  a  higher  and  more   experienced  court.  Their  case  is  reviewed  and  mistakes  corrected   !  Specialisation   !  If  courts  regularly  hear  the  same  types  of  disputes,  the  judges  can   develop  expertise  in  those  areas  of  law     !  Administrative  convenience   !  allows  more  complex  cases  to  be  heard  by  more  experienced  judges   8  
  9. 9. Pros  &  Cons  of  Court  Hierarchy   Advantages   Disadvantages   Allows  for  doctrine  of  precedent   Precedent  can  be  avoid  by  judges   (distinguishing)   Allows  for  appeals   Argued  that  there  are  too  many   appeals   Administrative  convenience  allows   more  complex  cases  to  be  heard  by   more  experienced  judges   More  administrative  personnel   needed  to  run  the  different  courts   Specialisation  allows  courts  to   become  experts  in  a  particular  area   There  are  more  courts  –  a  single  court   would  be  easier     Fewer  delays  because  less-­‐ complicated  cases  are  heard  in  lower   courts  and  not  mixed  in  with  more   complicated  cases   Parties  to  cases  in  lower  courts  are  not   receiving  the  same  high  level  of   judicial  expertise  as  parties  in  higher   courts   9  
  10. 10. Original  &  Appellate  Jurisdiction   of  the  Victorian  Court  Hierarchy     Handout    
  11. 11. Magistrates’  Court   !  Lowest  court  in  hierarchy   !  Hears  small  cases  efficiently  and  cheaply   Original   Appellate   Criminal   • Summary  offences   • Indictable  offences  heard   summarily   • Committal  hearings   • Bail  applications   • None   Civil   • Claims  from  $10,000  to   $100,000   • None   11  
  12. 12. Specialist  Divisions  of   Magistrates’  Court   Case  File  Handout  
  13. 13. County  Court     !  The  County  Court  sits  above  the  Magistrates’  Court  and  hears   most  indictable  offences  apart  from  the  most  serious,  as  well   as  the  more  complex  or  expensive  civil  claims   Original   Appellate   Criminal   • Indictable  offences  except  the   most  serious  (murder)   • Before  a  jury  of  12   • Appeals  on  questions  of  fact   (conviction  or  sentence)  from  the   Magistrates’  Court   Civil   • Claims  exceeding  $100,000   • Before  an  option  jury  of  6,   otherwise  judge  alone   • None,  except  under  a  specific  Act   13  
  14. 14. Specialist  Divisions  of  County  Court   !  The  Koori  County  Court   !  Objective  to  ensure  greater  participation  of  the  Aboriginal   community  in  the  sentencing  process   !  Culturally  appropriate  justice  process   !  The  Sexual  Offenders  List   !  To  ensure  a  more  efficient  trial  process,  and  be  more  responsive   to  the  needs  of  all  participants,  including  victims  of  sexual   offenders   14  
  15. 15. Supreme  Court   !  The  Supreme  Court  is  the  highest  state  court  with  original   jurisdiction  and  the  lowest  that  is  able  to  set  precedent.  It   hears  most  serious  cases.   Original   Appellate   Criminal     • The  most  serious  indictable   offences   • Before  a  jury  of  12   • Appeals  on  questions  of  law   from  the  Magistrates’  Court   Civil   • Complex  claims  exceeding   $100,000   • Before  an  optional  jury  of   6,  otherwise  judge  alone   • Appeals  on  questions  of:   • Law  and  fact  from  the   Magistrates’  Court   • Law  from  VCAT,  but  not   from  an  order  of  the   president  or  vice-­‐president  15  
  16. 16. Specialist  Divisions   !  Victorian  Costs  Court   !  Responsible  for  hearing  and  determining  the  assessment,   settling,  taxation  and  review  of  costs  in  proceedings  in  the   Supreme  Court,  County  Court,  Magistrates’  Court  and  VCAT   !  Commercial  Court   !  Introduced  various  procedures  to  resolve  matters  more   efficiently,  including  a  case  management  conference  and  an   evaluation  procedure.   16  
  17. 17. The  Court  of  Appeal   !  The  Court  of  Appeal  is  the  division  of  the  Supreme  Court  that   sits  with  more  than  one  justice.   !  It  is  the  highest  court  for  appeals  below  the  High  Court   Original   Appellate   Criminal   • None   • On  questions  of  law  and  fact  from  the  County   Court  and  the  Supreme  Court   Civil   • None   • On  questions  of  law  and  fact  from  the  County   Court  and  the  Supreme  Court   • On  questions  of  law  from  VCAT,  against  the   order  of  the  president  or  vice-­‐president   17  
  18. 18. Victorian  Civil  and   Administrative  Tribunal  (VCAT)   Structure,  role,  jurisdiction,  orders,  appeals  &  anti-­‐discrimination  list  
  19. 19. Structure  of  VCAT         19  
  20. 20. VCAT’s  divisions  and  lists   !  VCAT  is  divided  into  three  divisions:  Civil,  Administrative  and   Human  Rights.  Within  each  division  are  sections  known  as   ‘lists’   Civil  Division   Administrative  Division   Human  Rights  Division   •   Domestic  Building  List   •   Civil  Claims  List   •   Credit  List   •   Real  Property  List   •   Legal  Practice  List   • Residential  Tenancies   List   •   Retail  Tenancies  List   •   General  List   •   Planning  &   Environment  List   • Land  Valuation  List   •   Taxation  List   •   Occupational  &   Business  Regulation  List   •   Anti-­‐Discrimination  List   •   Guardianship  List   20  
  21. 21. Disputes  dealt  with  by  VCAT   Civil  Division   Administrative  Division   Human  Rights  Division   Disputes  between   individuals:   •   consumer  matters   •   credit     •   domestic  building   works   •   residential  tenancies   •   retail  tenancies   Disputes  between   individuals  &   government:   •   land  valuation   •   licenses    -­‐  business,   travel  agents,  motorcar   traders   •   planning   •   state  taxation   •   traffic  accident   commission  decisions   •   freedom  of  information   issues   Disputes  involving:   •   discrimination   •   guardianship   •   administration   21  
  22. 22. Reasons  for  VCAT   !  VCAT  is  similar  to  a  court,  only  less  formal,  faster  and   cheaper   Reason   Evidence   Less  formal   • The  tribunal  member  takes  an  active  role  in  proceedings   • In  some  circumstances,  proceedings  can  be  conducted  online   or  without  the  parties   Faster   • Documentary  evidence  is  allowed   • There  are  no  pre-­‐hearing  procedures  and  limited  appeals   Cheaper   • There  is  a  one-­‐off  filing  fee  rather  than  many  ongoing  ones   • Legal  representation  is  often  prohibited  unless  both  parties   agree  otherwise   22  
  23. 23. Operation  of  VCAT   23  
  24. 24. Dispute  Resolution   Methods   Mediation,  Conciliation,  Arbitration  &  Judicial  Determination  
  25. 25. Dispute  Resolution  Methods   !  Criminal  Cases     !  Judicial  Determination   !  Civil  Cases     !  some  times  Judicial  Determination  but  most  commonly   resolved  through  Alternative  Dispute  Resolution  (ADR)   !  ADR  is  less  formal  where  dispute  is  reconciled  between  parties   with  the  help  of  an  independent  third  party   !  ADR  includes,  mediation,  conciliation  &  arbitration   25  
  26. 26. Mediation   !  Involves  two  parties   !  The  mediator  help  the  parties  to  negotiate,  but  do  not  give   suggestions  for  ways  to  resolve  dispute   !  Decision  not  binding   26  
  27. 27. Conciliation   !  Involves  two  parties   !  The  conciliator  helps  the  parties  negotiate  and  makes   suggestions   !  Decision  not  binding   27  
  28. 28. Arbitration   !  Involves  two  parties   !  The  arbitrator  helps  the  parties  negotiate  and  makes  a   resolution   !  Decision  is  binding   28  
  29. 29. Judicial  Determination   !  Involves  two  parties     !  The  judicial  officer  hears  the  case  and  makes  a  resolution   !  Decision  is  binding   29  
  30. 30. Evaluation  of  Dispute   Resolution  Methods   Strengths  and  weakness  of  mediation,  conciliation,  arbitration  &  judicial   determination  
  31. 31. Pros  &  Cons  of  ADR   Strengths   Weaknesses   Less  formal  &  intimidating   Expect  for  arbitration,  decision  not  binding   Costs  less   Not  appropriate  in  cases  where  there  is  a   power  imbalance   Quicker   One  party  may  compromise  too  much  and   result  in  a  unfair  decision   Mediation  and  conciliation  more   satisfaction  with  result  as  normally   considered  a  win-­‐win   ADR  is  voluntary,  therefore  one  party  may   not  attend   Keeps  relationship  between  parties  in  tact   No  appeal  options   Confidential  unlike  a  public  court   Individual  merits  (no  doctrine  of  precedent)   31  
  32. 32. Pros  &  Cons  of  Judicial  Determination   Strengths   Weaknesses   Decision  binding  and  enforceable  by   courts   Expensive   Judicial  officers  are  experienced  in   legal  processes   Judicial  officers  bound  by  formality   and  are  not  allowed  to  assist   unrepresented  parties   Formal  nature  ensures  fairness  as   both  parties  are  subject  to  the  same   rules  of  evidence  and  procedures   Judicial  officers  find  for  either  one  of   the  parties  therefore  leaving  one   party  dissatisfied  with  the  decision   Suitable  to  both  criminal  and  civil   disputes   Judicial  officers  limited  in  the  orders   they  can  make  (more  flexibility  in   decisions  with  ADR)   32  
  33. 33. Evaluation  of  the  courts  &   VCAT   Strengths  &  weaknesses  of  the  courts  and  VCAT  in  resolving  disputes  
  34. 34. Pros  &  Cons  of  court     Strengths   Weaknesses   Courts  can  adjudicate  on  all  disputes,   minor,  major,  criminal  or  civil   Adversarial  nature  results  in  win-­‐lose  result   Doctrine  of  precedent  allows  for   consistency,  certainty  and  predictability     Time  consuming  as  delays  are  common   Legal  representation  allows  for  equality  for   both  parties   Legal  representation  is  expensive  as  are   other  court  costs   Strict  rules  of  evidence  and  procedure   ensure  both  parties  are  treated  fairly   The  formality  of  the  court  room  may  be   intimidating   Decision  is  final  and  legally  enforceable   Opportunity  to  have  a  jury  in  some  cases   Allows  for  appeal   34  
  35. 35. Pros  &  Cons  of  VCAT   Strengths   Weaknesses   Less  formal   Cost  increased  due  to  an  increase  in  parties   seeking  legal  representation   Cheaper   Dispute  resolution  now  fragmented   creating  confusion  of  where  best  to  settle   dispute   Faster   Tribunals  have  eroded  the  importance  of   the  courts   Tribunal  personnel  expert/experienced  in   jurisdiction  of  list   Avenues  of  appeal  are  limited  (only  those   relating  to  questions  of  law  permitted)   Decisions  are  binding  and  legally   enforceable  on  the  parties   Relieves  strain  on  courts  and  allow  courts   to  focus  on  more  complex  cases   35  
  36. 36. References   !  Beazer,  Humphreys  &  Filippin  (2012)  Justice  &  Outcomes  12e,   Oxford  University  Press   !  Aldous  (2008)  Making  &  Breaking  the  Law,  8th  edition,   Macmillan  Education  Australia   !  Humphreys  (2011)  Legal  Notes  Units  3  &  4,  2nd  edition,  Nelson   Cengage  Learning   !  Jacaranda  online,  www.studyon.com.au   36