Criminal Law Advocacy Essentials: Non-Court Advocacy, Evidence, Cross-Examination, Pleas, and Sentencing

The secret sauce is to control the controllable as best you can. Master the essential skills for the criminal law advocacy. Navigate the importance of strategic non-court advocacy. Gain guidance on getting your evidence admitted, cross examination, pleas and sentencing. Be prepared. Setting your case on the right path may mean the difference for you and your client.

Thursday, 5 September 2024
Early Bird Discount ends 2 Aug 2024 $294.00

Attend and earn 3 CPD units including:
2 units in Substantive Law
1 unit in Professional Skills

This program is based on VIC legislation

Professional Skills
2.00pm to 3.00pm "Non-Court" Advocacy


  • Understanding the prosecution brief
  • Formulating the defence case theory (incorporating instructions)
  • Negotiating charges and summary of alleged facts with the prosecution
  • Agreed facts, admissions, and resolutions
  • SCC email: communication with prosecutors

Presented by Emma Turnbull, Director, Emma Turnbull Lawyers; Accredited Criminal Law Specialist

4.00pm to 4.15pm Afternoon Tea
4.15pm to 5.15pm Pleas and Sentencing in Victoria: Practice Guide


  • Factors influencing sentencing decisions
  • Understanding the role of the defence and prosecution in plea negotiations
  • Best practices for effective pleas

Presented by Melinda Walker, Principal, Melinda Walker Criminal Law Solicitor; Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law

3.00pm to 4.00pm In the Hot Seat: Maximising Evidence and Cross-Examination


  • Rules of evidence
  • Coincidence and tendency evidence
  • Mitigation through evidence of rehabilitation
  • Other decisions of importance
  • Cross examination: dos and don’ts
  • How to lose a case
  • Cross examining children and vulnerable people

Presented by Dr. Felicity Gerry KC, Barrister, Crockett Chambers


Nicole Spicer, Managing Principal Solicitor, Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office


Nicole Spicer, Lead Counsel , Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office
Nicole is Lead Counsel in the Inquiries, Prosecutions and Administrative Law branch at the Victorian Government Solicitors Office (VGSO) . She is currently involved in advising the State of Victoria in connection with its responses to the Yoorrook Justice Commission and the Defence and Veteran Suicide Royal Commission. She has previously worked over an extended period of time in the field of criminal and quasi-criminal litigation. Prior to moving to the VGSO she was a supervising lawyer and mentor at Stary Norton Halphen Lawyers. She has been an LIV accredited specialist in criminal law since 2002, a past co-chair of the Criminal Law Section,

Emma Turnbull, Director, Emma Turnbull Lawyers; Accredited Criminal Law Specialist
Emma Turnbull is a Director and founding partner of Emma Turnbull Lawyers Pty Ltd. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a Master of Laws (LLM) from Monash University. Emma is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist with the Law Institute of Victoria having passed the examinations in 2014. Emma has dedicated her legal career to being a defence lawyer. A passionate and forceful advocate, Emma appears regularly in all courts across the Victorian criminal law jurisdiction. This includes appearing as Counsel and instructing solicitor in Supreme and County Court trials, mental impairment trials, County Court and Magistrates’ Court plea hearings and bail applications. Emma’s team of lawyers are in Court every day of the week and the office runs one of the largest practices of indictable crime and jury trials in Victoria. The firm is the largest criminal law firm headed by a female in Victoria. She is an industry leader and a forceful advocate for change and development of criminal law practice. Emma has been acknowledged year after year as a leading criminal defence lawyer in Doyle’s Annual Guide (as has the firm), has won ACQ Partner of the Year and is a current Finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards. Emma continues to undertake professional development to refine her skills as an advocate and firm Director. During her time as an employee at some of Victoria’s largest criminal law firms, Emma had the opportunity to obtain experience, skills and knowledge that has enabled the firm to develop into the success that it is today. As a result of her consistently thorough preparation and commitment to achieve the best possible outcomes, Emma has established a large and loyal client base. She maintains an excellent network of experienced and highly regarded barristers and other forensic professionals who assist in the preparation of cases for court. Emma is admitted in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia. Emma maintains membership with the Law Institute of Victoria, is a former member of their Criminal Law Executive and current member of the General Criminal Law Committee. During her Masters of Law studies, she was a student representative on two academic committees at Monash University. Emma has completed postgraduate study and major research in Advanced Evidence, Sentencing, Corporate and White Collar Crime, Cybercrime, Terrorism and Children’s Laws. She is committed to ongoing professional development and this is evidenced by her excellent academic results.

Dr. Felicity Gerry KC, Barrister, Crockett Chambers
Professor Felicity Gerry KC is admitted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in The Hague, to the Bar of England & Wales and in Australia (Victoria and the High Court Roll). She has also had ad hoc admission in Hong Kong and Gibraltar. As an international QC she is regularly called upon to handle serious, complex and sensitive trials and appeals at every level of court. Her cases and advisory work often involve an international or human rights element, including genocide, war crimes, torture, terrorism, homicide, biosecurity, illegal logging, human trafficking and other major domestic and international crime. She is also Professor of Legal Practice at Deakin University, Melbourne where she is unit chair in the undergraduate and JD programs teaching Contemporary International Legal Challenges – topics include War Crimes, ‘Modern Slavery’, Terrorism and Climate Change Law and she is involved in the clinical programs. She is an Ambassador for The Advocates Gateway which produces toolkits for advocacy with vulnerable people. She has a particular expertise in relation to vulnerable defendants and is widely published in this field. She was Lawyers Weekly Australian Barrister of the Year 2020 and Solicitors Journal Legal Personality of the Year 2016 and has been recognised in the Legal 500 for 2020 as a Leading Individual as follows: ‘Felicity thinks outside the box and is not afraid to push the envelope. She is at the forefront of the development of criminal law. She is a true inspiration to junior lawyers. She is a leader in her field. Clients feel she will fight their corner at every stage of a case.’ In Doyle’s Guide 2020 she is also a ‘Recommended Silk’.

Melinda Walker,Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law
Melinda was admitted to practice in 2000, commenced sole practice in 2003 and has conducted her practice for the past 19 years. She attained Accredited Criminal Law Specialisation in 2014 and was Co-Chair of the Executive Committee for the Criminal Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria (“LIV”) 2017-2021. In 2017 Melinda was appointed the Chair of the Bail Reform Committee on behalf of the Law Institute of Victoria to make submissions to the Honourable Justice Coghlan who presided over the Bail review. She was also LIV representative at the Bail Reform Project, Criminal Justice Strategy & Coordination – Bail Reform Implementation Working Group convened by the Department of Justice & Regulation 2017-2018 to identify priorities for the development of the “Coghlan Recommendations” and consider proposals for action and appeared before the Coroners Court inquest into the death of Veronica Nelson as a member of expert panel on bail law. Melinda has extensive experience and knowledge of all jurisdictions and have appeared as counsel and instructor in all courts. I have represented many Indigenous clients and appeared in Koori Court both in the Magistrates’ Court and County Court jurisdictions. She has now been involved in the services of Law for close to 30 years in various capacities. This includes paid and volunteer work. Melinda is an active participant in law reform in the areas of bail, family violence, sentencing, youth, policy and procedure.


Criminal Law Advocacy Essentials: Non-Court Advocacy, Evidence, Cross-Examination, Pleas, and Sentencing


Single Session
Thursday, 5 September 2024
2.00pm to 5.15pm Australia/Sydney
CPD Points 3
Early Bird Discount ends 2 Aug 2024 $294.00
Online 20240722 20240905


On Demand 20240722 20240905

Post Seminar Recording