Essential Trial Advocacy Course

Next Course: Adelaide, 1-5 July 2024


Essential Trial Advocacy Course

Location: Adelaide

Dates: 1-5 July 2024

The ABA Essential Trial Advocacy course (ETAC) provides barristers with an opportunity to receive training in the essential skills of presenting an application, opening a case, examining in chief, cross examining and making a closing address. ETAC is residential and conducted over five days. The coaches are Australian judges and senior and junior counsel selectedby the ATC.  

The underlying philosophy of all ATC courses is that the skills of a barrister are best learned in an environment that is as close to the real experience as possible. This involves creating a realistic brief, asking the barrister to properly prepare as they would for a real hearing and then giving them the opportunity to perform in an environment of challenge and respect.

The aim is to engage the barrister to develop a deeper understanding of the relevant objectives for each performance task, promote thoughtful preparation and reinforce best practice by an ongoing process of practice and review.

The focus is on each barrister and exploring ways of improving their performances. The course involves a combination of lectures, demonstrations, performances by participants, group reviews and individual coaching sessions.

Advocates prepare a Federal Court brief and perform opening addresses, examination and cross-examination of witnesses and give a closing address. Considerable emphasis is placed upon case analysis and thoughtful preparation.

Each barrister is briefed for the Applicant or Respondent to appear in the Federal Court. The case is detailed and requires a good deal of close examination and thought. Barristers are expected to be ready to perform on the first full day of the course, it is essential that extensive preparation is undertaken before the course commences. Past experience suggests that at least three full days preparation is required.

As part of that preparation, each barrister prepares and submits prescribed written work before the course commences. This may include a chronology, an outline of opening address, an outline of the examination-in-chief for each witness, cross-examination points and an outline for the closing address. These documents are submitted before the course and refined as the course proceeds.



Course Cost $4,700.00

Registration includes:

  • All course materials (Brief, Instructions)
  • Venue and equipment (a tablet must be provided by the participant to record their performances)
  • Five nights accommodation (Monday to Friday inclusive)
  • Breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, lunch, dinner and drinks, each day of the course. 

Places are limited and must be approved by the Bar Association in your jurisdiction. 

Please note that there are no discounts being offered for barristers who wish to stay off-site. It is intended that this is a residential course and as such accommodation is booked for all barristers. 

All travel costs, including flights and working materials (stationery, texts, legislation) are additional and must be organised by barristers individually.

Contact name: Legal Education Team, Bar Association of Queensland

Contact email:

Contact telephone: +61 7 3238 5100

Withdrawal and Cancellation Policy

No withdrawals or transfers in registration will be accepted within 6 weeks of the course start date. All withdrawals before this date will incur a $150 administration fee and all transfers are to be notified in writing and are the responsibility of the registered barrister.

In the event that the course is not fully subscribed, the ABA reserves the right to cancel the course. In this event, all registration fees will be refunded.

Please Note

If sponsored, the ABA may provide contact details (email usually, but also may include barristers address) as well as the barrister’s name to the sponsor for marketing purposes.

Photography may be taken during the course. The photographs will be used for promotional purposes or on the ABA website. If any barrister wishes not to be photographed, they should advise the ATC at the time of application for the course.

Some testimonial comments from previous courses

The things you pointed out I had no idea I was doing, so it has been excellent to have those things pointed out so I can work on them.

Went above and beyond to give us the best advice from your years of experience and I am very grateful for the insights you shared with us. I have no doubt it will help us and also countless judicial officers who have us in their courts at the bar table.


I learnt so much from you and from the course. This was by far the most valuable course that I've ever attended.


It was everything that I had hoped it would be – intense, challenging, collegiate and a phenomenal learning experience. It is such a gift to the Bar. The course is a clear standout among many, many courses and seminars attended over the years. It was brilliant.