Curriculum Advisory Committees

Practical Legal Training Programs

Curriculum Advisory Committees (CACs) in New Zealand, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia* have been established to advise course leaders and The College of Law Academic Board (COLAB) about the impact of local conditions on the PLT Program curriculum and to recommend changes to the relevant stream materials**.

* Please note that the CAC function in New South Wales is performed by the Group Course Committee (GCC) and the Subject Area Teams headed by Senior Lecturers.

** It is important to emphasise that while legislation can be very different in different jurisdictions, the actual practice of law is generally similar all over Australia. Therefore, in the PLT Program, the structure of the curriculum does not change from stream to stream, but some of the materials manifesting the curriculum (eg court documents; conveyancing precedents) will change.

The CACs meet once or twice per year (as deemed necessary) and report to the COLAB via the Group Course Committee (GCC).

Applied Law Programs

The Curriculum Advisory Committees for the Applied Law Programs perform a similar function to the other CACs; ie, they have input into the settling or amending of the curricula.

The CACs for the Applied Law courses meet as required while the courses are in development, but revert to an annual meeting once fully established.

All CACs report to the COLAB via the Group Course Committee.

Functions and Terms of Reference

The CACs are convened in order to:

  • have input into curriculum to ensure local conditions are provided for
  • ensure that the realities of legal practice are reflected as far as possible in both curriculum and delivery
  • approve and sign off on new courses or amendments to courses
  • review student satisfaction and student outcome data and other benchmarking data as appropriate
  • test the College on its policies and procedures in respect of curriculum development and delivery

The CACs analyse relevant curriculum and make recommendations for its improvement. They do not make academic decisions but they influence the decision making of the COLAB and the Board of Governors via the giving of advice in respect of curriculum.

Structure and Membership

The CACs are typically constituted by:

  • the relevant Program Director
  • a staff representative
  • external members (practitioners or academics).

The Chair of the CAC is normally an external member appointed by the Chair of the Academic Board. Other members of the CAC are appointed by the relevant Program Director in consultation with the Chair of the CAC.

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