AS/POLS 3600 / GL/POLS 3135 Court Visit Assignment




The Court Visit Assignment requires students to do observational research and incorporate what the student observes into his/her writing.  When writing the assignment, students are required to combine both descriptive and analytical components into their assignment.  The primary purpose of this assignment is to give students some practical experience concerning what the lecture materials touch upon.  In many instances, lecture materials do not necessarily reflect the “real world” in terms of their applicability.  This will allow students the opportunity to test this theory (some may even want to touch upon this in their assignment).




            This assignment is essentially broken down into two parts.  The first part is observational in nature.  Students are required to visit two different “levels” of court (i.e. Small Claims Court, the Provincial Court of Justice, the Superior Court of Justice or the Ontario Court of Appeal).  Although there is no time length placed on each visit, students should spend at least two hours at each court in order to get the full picture of what they are observing.


Helpful Hint:  Students may want to ask the court staff at the court about any interesting cases being heard.  This will make the student’s visit more interesting since some cases are likely to be more appealing than others.  Students should also not be afraid to ask counsel questions (in the appropriate circumstances – i.e. not during court time).  Many lawyers (although not all) will be more than happy to answer one or two questions.


Once the observational requirement has been completed, students will have to prepare a written report no longer than five double-spaced pages (any reports longer than the required length will be subject to a penalty).  In this report, students are expected to briefly describe what they observed at each court.  Students are also expected to explain the differences in what they observed at each court.




The Court Visit Assignment is worth 5% of the student’s final grade.  The student will receive a mark out of five for the assignment.


Due Date:


            The Court Visit Assignment is due September 23, 2005 at the beginning of class. 


No extensions are allowed except under exceptional circumstances.  Late papers will be docked 2% per day of lateness (including weekends).  Emailed assignments will not, barring exceptional circumstances, be accepted.


Note:  All assignments (other than bonus assignments) are mandatory.  Failure to hand in an assignment will result in an incomplete for the course.