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Duty Lawyer Training Programme 2020

Duty Lawyer Training Programme 2020
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16 September 2020

  • Auckland advising session and practice courts are taking place 2/3 October. Please check your emails.
  • Manukau advising session and practice courts are taking place 18/19 September. Please check your emails.
  • Wellington session is expected to take place as planned on 16/17 October.
  • Court observations - contact your local duty lawyers.
  • If you have any questions please email [email protected]

Learning objectives  l  Ministry of Justice Requirements  l  Times & locations  l  Transfer & Cancellation policy
Duty lawyers are critical to the smooth running of a District Court list. This course gives you the basic knowledge and skills you need to apply to join this important group.

You will:
  • Undertake self-directed pre-course reading and preparation.
  • Arrange to observe experienced duty lawyers for a minimum of five half days.
  • Attend an introductory session in the area in which you intend to practise (introductory session).
  • Work through realistic scenarios with an experienced duty lawyer (advising session)
  • Sit an open book exam (exam session).
  • Make critiqued practice appearances (practice court session).
  • Be observed and assessed while making your first real appearance as a duty lawyer (final assessed appearance).

Ministry of Justice requirements 

As well as completion of the programme, you will need to meet Ministry of Justice listing criteria for duty lawyers. Note that being listed as a duty lawyer does not guarantee a place on any roster. See the MOJ website for more information.


The introductory, advising, exam and practice court sessions are all run in five main centres. Introductory sessions are also held in a number of smaller centres.

Your introductory session and final assessed appearance must be attended in the region in which you intend to practise.

All participants are required to attend the advising, exam, and practice court sessions in one of the main centres. These sessions are held on a Friday afternoon and the following Saturday morning.

If you are from a town which is not shown, we may be able to help you organise an introductory session in your area.

Learning objectives

At the completion of this programme you will be able to:
  • Recognise what information is required to advise list court defendants.
  • Advise defendants as to their best course of action.
  • Recognise when to seek advice from a more experienced duty lawyer.
  • Recognise the limits of the duty lawyer role.
  • Make appropriate applications/submissions for a defendant.
  • Recognise and respond appropriately to ethical issues which may arise.
  • Know how to interact appropriately with the Community Probation Service, Police, the Forensic Nurse and other services assisting in the list court.

Who should attend 

This course is for practitioners who intend to apply to be listed as a duty lawyer.

Note that you must hold a practising certificate in order to complete the course.


Materials will be supplied when you have registered and paid. Please read all instructions, requirements and assessment procedures to ensure you are fully prepared for each component of the course.

We suggest that you register at least three weeks before the introductory session you wish to attend so that you can start your observations and prepare for the introductory session.

Fee (incl GST)

Entry Level Workshop

  • $505
Fee includes all materials and catering

Do you want to register more than one person for this course? Click here
Download a PDF copy of the workshop brochure 

Timing & Locations

  • Introductory session: 2.00pm - 5.30pm
  • Advising & exam session: 1.00pm - 6.00pm
  • Practice court session: 8.30am - 1.30pm 
The introduction and final assessed appearance must be attended in the region in which you intend to practise.
Centre Introduction Friday Advising Friday Practice Court Saturday
Christchurch 14 February 7 August 8 August
Timaru 21 February 7 August 8 August
Wellington 1 6 March 31 July 1 August
Nelson 6 March 31 July (in Wgtn) 1 August (in Wgtn)
Auckland 3 April 2 October 3 October
Gisborne  3 April 2 October (in Akl) 3 October (in Akl)
Hamilton 26 June 24 July 25 July
Tauranga 19 June 24 July (in Ham) 25 July (in Ham)
Rotorua 19 June 24 July (in Ham) 25 July (in Ham)
Dunedin 26 June 28 August 29 August
Invercargill 26 June 28 August (in Dun) 29 August (in Dun)
Manukau 7 August 18 September 19 September
Whangarei 7 August 18 September (in Man) 19 September (in Man)
Wellington 2 14 August 16 October 17 October
Whanganui 4 September 16 October (in Wgtn) 17 October (in Wgtn)
Hawkes Bay 14 August 16 October (in Wgtn) 17 October (in Wgtn)
New Plymouth 14 August 16 October (in Wgtn) 17 October (in Wgtn)
Palmerston North 14 August 16 October (in Wgtn) 17 October (in Wgtn)

Transfer Policy

Note: transfer is available only within this calendar year.

Introductory session
No transfer is possible for the introductory session as it must be attended in the region in which you intend to practise.
Advising & exam session and/or practice court session
Transfer to another centre
Notice given Fee payable
10+ working days $100
5-9 working days $150
0-4 working days Transfer not possible, treated as cancellation. See cancellation below.

Cancellation Policy

Note: materials must be returned unused before refund will be processed.

Before Introductory session
Notice given Refund
10+ working days $405 (fee – $100 administration)
0-9 working days $355 (fee – $150 administration)
Before advising & exam session and/or practice court session
Notice given Refund
10+ working days $150
0-9 working days No refund

Developed with the support of:
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freephone (within NZ)
0800 333 111

[email protected]

04 472 7837

04 463 2986
Level 4, 17-21 Whitmore Street
Wellington 6011

DX SP 20202
PO Box 5041
Wellington 6140
New Zealand