Courtroom Skills for Social Workers by Clare Seymour

By Clare Seymour

This new textual content will construct on court abilities for Social employees, by way of updating the felony and examine content material and strengthening the cloth on recording. there'll even be extra contributions from provider clients and extra perform examples, with a view to make the publication fascinating and suitable for certified social employees. it is going to support social employees in assembly their CPD requisites for carrying on with registration and in addition provide a framework for brief in-service education classes on court docket talents and recording, either components within which social staff' functionality comes below the scrutiny of alternative pros.

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In the course of this activity, you may find that even if the distinction between powers and duties is fairly clear, other aspects of the documents are less easy to interpret. For example, what will happen if a duty is not carried out? Who decides, and on what basis, whether powers are to be exercised? This may go some way towards explaining why lawyers seem to be so focused on the meaning of words. QXD 19/6/07 8:07 am Page 41 Chapter 4 Legal language and concepts Negligence Negligence in law just means carelessness.

In this the court relies on each party to put forward rival arguments between which it can decide. The theory is that if it is up to the parties to try and persuade the court of the rightness of their respective positions, they will do everything possible to achieve that, and so all the relevant evidence and argument will be put before the court. The inquisitorial approach is one in which the court reaches a decision based on the outcome of its own inquiries. Many people feel that this approach, which is common in European courts, is more suitable in civil proceedings, particularly family cases.

How lawyers approach problems In order to work effectively in legal settings, it is not necessary for you to learn to think like a lawyer. However, you do need to engage with the complexity of the law–practice interface (Cull and Roche, 2001), which is easier if you understand how lawyers think. Through their training, lawyers learn how to interpret the law and apply it to solving legal problems. As we have seen, their first involvement in a case is likely to involve being asked for advice. In order to be able to consider what legal principles may apply in any situation, they have to assemble and evaluate material which shows the facts, or what a court, if the matter is contentious, might find that the facts are.

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