The Prison Legal Literacy Clinic offers students a unique opportunity to work with detainees in a prison setting at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC). The AMC is the Australian Capital Territory's only adult prison, accommodating all persons who have been sentenced to full-time imprisonment or remanded in custody by ACT Courts.
The Prison Legal Literacy Clinic was developed from the highly successful ANU College of Law, Law Reform and Social Justice Prison Legal Literacy Program which commenced in 2010.
Students in the Prison Legal Literacy Clinic will attend the AMC to deliver six legal literacy sessions for a cohort of detainees chosen by AMC management. These sessions provide legal information only, rather than legal advice. The first session focuses on establishing mutually agreed rules and boundaries, developing respectful relationships and identifying areas of legal interest to detainees that will become the topics for the remaining five sessions. These topics are as diverse as detainees interests but may involve laws and legal process relating to criminal law, evidence, sentencing, appeals, parole, administrative law, human rights law and tort law. Many topics require students to convey an understanding of the democratic process of law making, the federal system of law as well as the hierarchy and jurisdiction of courts and tribunals. The emphasis is on students working as a team to develop informative, engaging and interactive sessions. Student are required to undertake significant research in each week of the session delivery phase of the course, often in areas of law that are unfamiliar to them. Detainees who complete the program are presented with a certificate in the final session acknowledge their efforts.
Students will be provided with Security Awareness Training by the AMC and supported before and during the delivery stage of the program by the course convenor who will be present at, and guide the delivery of, each of the Legal Literacy Sessions at the AMC.
Following the delivery of six sessions (in the first 6 weeks of the semester) students are required to submit a reflective assessment. Students will then use the remaining six weeks of the semester to write a research paper on a legal topic they have identified from their experience with detainees within the AMC. Students will be supported to develop and hone their research papers in research workshops that will be held in the second half of the semester.
Students must apply to undertake this course. Please go to Law Professional Experience for application information.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Review how legal knowledge can be used to empower detainees, improve detainee experiences and promote social justice
- Reflect on their personal motivation for studying law, their goals and career aspirations.
- Develop and apply a coherent body of substantive legal knowledge in the preparation delivery and evaluation of legal education workshops delivered to detainees.
- Evaluate a variety of social issues of justice, power and disadvantage, and to critically analyse entrenched issues of injustice in the legal system.
- Research and evaluate range of legal practice approaches having regard to the legal needs of detainees
- Investigate and evaluate the predicament of detainees having regard to the operation of the law and the legal system.
- Select and review concrete and achievable ways in which they can promote access to justice and equality before the law.
- Identify, plan, manage and execute a written research project addressing a problem relating to detainee experiences and/or the prison setting, and present findings using a variety of media
Enrolment is limited with selection based on a competitive process. Application information can be located on the ANU College of Law Website.
- Participation in and delivery of legal literacy sessions at the AMC (NCN) (10) [LO 3]
- Reflective Journal or Report of Experience (1200 w) (20) [LO 2]
- Work in Progress Research Project Presentation (10-15mins ) (10) [LO 8]
- Research Project (4500 words - from a 7500word max) (60) [LO 1,4,5,6,7,8]
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- Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 26 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours.
- Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have three contact hours per week.
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Requisite and Incompatibility
You will need to contact the ANU Law School to request a permission code to enrol in this course.
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately two weeks prior to the commencement of the course. Alternatively, this information will be published in the Program course list when known.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
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