LAW217 Civil Procedure (8)

This subject introduces students to the procedural rules governing civil litigation in NSW as exemplified in the rules of the superior courts. Students will critically examine the civil litigation workflow of courts including court adjudication under an adversarial system, the types of processes available to start a case, how they must be served, joinder of claims and parties, summary disposition, the transfer of matters between courts, time limits, pleadings and notices to admit, the duty to exchange information, as well as interlocutory orders. It also provides an introduction to alternative forms of dispute resolution practised in civil disputes.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: LAW217. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Law and Justice

Enrolment Restrictions

Bachelor of Laws and the Bachelor of Laws/Criminal Justice students only.


LAW112 and LAW116

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an informed understanding of the rules, principles and standards of civil practice articulated in the Civil Procedure Act 2005 (NSW), the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005, the NSW Court practice notices and identified case law;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the legal principles governing pre-trial process and its relationship to issues of access to justice;
  • be able to analyse critically service process and interim measures including orders to preserve property, evidence or assets in general;
  • be able to analyse critically joinder of claims and parties and causes of action, including the objectives of the pleading system and the principal rules of pleadings;
  • be able to articulate the chronology of a civil dispute from the time it is referred to the lawyer until the matter is ready for trial, including demonstrating an understanding of the reasons for and content of pre-trial rules relating to discovery, inspection of documents and evidence gathering in general;
  • be able to analyse critically legal argument for compulsory disclosure of evidence that is relevant and otherwise admissible, including identifying the relevant doctrines;
  • be able to engage critically with the principles of civil procedure including identifying and solving problems within real world contexts;
  • be able to identify and analyse conflicts and ethical dilemmas that occur in pre-trial process and propose solutions by applying substantive law to procedural steps;
  • be able to present a clear and coherent exposition of the way civil procedure is regulated in Australia (particularly NSW), including demonstrating in depth knowledge of the abuse of civil procedural devices, especially costs and delay; and
  • be able to demonstrate personal autonomy in the use of professional judgement relating to mediation and other alternative dispute mechanisms, including extra judicial determination of issues arising in the course of litigation


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to civil practice and procedure, including court adjudication under and adversary system, together with jurisdiction and guiding principles
  • The cost of litigation and the use of costs to control litigation
  • Civil practice in NSW, including dispute resolution and other pre-litigation requirements and case management
  • Pre-trial practice and processes in NSW: Service of originating process - as foundation of jurisdiction including service out of the relevant State and Territory, choice of forum and interim measures
  • Joinder of claims and parties including group proceedings and the defence of prior adjudication as instances of the public interest in avoiding a multiplicity of proceedings and inconsistent verdict
  • Drafting pleadings, court and other documents
  • Discovery, gathering evidence and privileged communications
  • Disposition without trial, including the compromise of litigation
  • Extra judicial determination of issues arising in the course of litigation
  • Defining the questions for trial: pleading, notices to admit, and other devices
  • Mediation and alternative dispute resolution
  • Judgement and appeals
  • Enforcement

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of LAW217 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Online test 1
Online test 2
Online test 3
Research essay
Final examination

Residential School

This subject contains a 2 day Optional Residential School.

The 2-day residential school for this subject is optional. It will cover the seminar topics relevant to the subject with particular emphasis on relevant case law, precedents and legislation.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.