Simulation Repository - Civil Court Action: Purchase of a Car Scenario

Title: Civil Court Action: Purchase of a Car Scenario
Author: Karen Barton & Patricia McKellar
Institution: University of Strathclyde
Creative Commons License:
Attribution, Non-commercial, ShareAlike
Subject Classification: Law

The simulation concerns the alleged non-payment of the alleged agreed purchase price of a car and replicates an ordinary payment action in a Scottish civil court. It is an adversarial transaction where students act either as agents for a client raising the action or a client defending the action from the initial stage up to the Options Hearing stage of the procedure. The students acting for the pursuer are provided with a statement from their client and instructions from a supervisor asking them to raise the action in court. They are given deadlines to meet and provided with style documents to assist them in the process. Once the action has been successfully raised in the court, the defenders are sent the relevant documents plus their client's statement and require to take the necessary steps to defend the action. Students on both sides must follow the correct procedure and correspond with their client, the court, witnesses, and the other side as appropriate in order to complete the transaction. Although the students are given the same basic scenario, some variables are introduced so that no two simulations are the same, and depending on what fact finding is carried out and how the other side respond at various stages, each simulation will take a slightly different route and may end with a different solution. The simulation runs over a period of 8 weeks with tutors taking the role of the client, witnesses, senior partner etc. and respond to student requests for information in character. A bank of pre-prepared responses, resources and styles are available to speed up the response time and facilitate the tutors' involvement. Assessment takes place at various points in the transaction and students are given feedback (within the context of the simulation) if they do not achieve the required outcomes initially and allowed a second attempt to do that before the simulation moves on. The simulation is currently used with students on a post graduate Legal Practice Course, but has been used with first year undergraduates and has been developed to run on the SIMPLE Platform. Students also work as ‘firms' or groups of four as either pursuers or defenders, but single students could complete the transaction also.


Court, Law, Legal Practice, Scottish civil procedure, payment action, ordinary action.

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