We have developed a series of interactive scenarios in partnership with the University of Queensland's Centre for Biological Information Technology (and other partners on a scenario by scenario basis) to give lawyers and law students an opportunity to engage on-line and try to resolve some real world ethical dilemmas that arise in the every day practice of law - and to give potential complainants an opportunity to 'track' an imaginary complaint and so learn how the Commission deals with complaints.
We encourage you to use the scenarios – whether you are a lawyer, legal or other academic, law or other student, legal consumer or member of the public more generally - but ask you please to give us your feedback through the evaluation survey to help us assess just how useful the scenarios are and how we might improve them.
Explanatory notes to ethical scenarios
The Centre for Biological Information Technology at the University of Queensland (CBIT) has developed an interactive scenario or problem-based learning software package (SBLi) in conjunction with Massey University in New Zealand.
A paper recently published by CBIT describes the development and use of the software and scenarios:
- Designing, developing and implementing a software tool for scenario based learning (PDF Html)
Norton, G., Taylor, M., Stewart, T., Blackburn, G., Jinks, A., Razdar, B., Holmes, P. & Marastoni, E. (2012)
Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(7), 1083-1102.
Our ethical scenarios
We've applied the software to the sorts of real world problems encountered by lawyers. We wanted to explore new and interesting ways to sensitise law students and lawyers to the problems that are the stuff of everyday complaints to the Commission and generally to promote discussion about the sorts of ethical issues that arise in the daily practice of law.
You will find our scenarios on SBLi's public server, making them freely available to everyone.
It's a Grey Area Scenarios
Parts 1 and 2 seek to sensitise practitioners to some common but difficult dilemmas that arise in the course of providing legal services to older people and people who may have cognitive impairments and to engage them in finding solutions.
It's a Grey Area Pt1
It's a Grey Area Pt2
Part 3 continues the story, but can also stand alone. This scenario allows legal consumers and practitioners alike to explore how the Commission deals with complaints. It tracks how the Commission deals with a complaint about the practitioner involved in Parts 1 and 2 and illustrates four possible outcomes, depending on how the practitioner chooses to respond to the complaint. It includes links to other useful resources on the Commission's website and replicas of the sorts of letters the Commission sends to complainants and practitioners every day.
It's a Grey Area Pt3
The Ethical Issues Scenario
This scenario describes some ethical dilemmas of a kind that lawyers encounter everyday in their real-world practice of law and that find their way to the Commission in the form of complaints.
We undertook this project collaboratively with the CBIT and the Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Law which wanted to explore how to teach professional responsibility and ethics to law students in ways that engage them with ethical problems not only cognitively but also affectively.