Criminal Law

Units available in the area of Criminal Law, as part of the Bachelor of Criminology and Justice degree.

 

Australian Law in Context
Elective unit

The unit will expand the student‘s knowledge of the Australian law by covering a sequence of legal disciplines, including: constitutional and administrative law, torts and misleading conduct; contracts, commercial dealings and workplace law; property, land law and intellectual property; corporations and financial law; domestic relations, health and succession law; migration and refugee law.

The unit will then explore further options in the study of law, in relation to the possible professional outcomes within the Australian legal industry and beyond. In particular, the student will be made aware of the requirements and implications of becoming an Australian lawyer in terms of legal practice management, professional conduct and responsibility.

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Criminal Law and Procedure
Core unit

The unit commences with an outline of basic concepts of criminal law by considering the aims of criminal law, retribution, deterrence and reformation. Students will then trace the development of Australian criminal law from the institutional form and procedure used in the English legal system. Explanations of the element of a criminal offence will be outlined and the concepts of attracting criminal liability will be analysed.

Students are introduced to various summary and indictable offences at the Federal and State levels, focusing in particular on the elements of major offences involving death, assault and other serious indictable offences involving violence. Students will also critically analyse the appropriateness of criminal defences such as self-defence, provocation, insanity, necessity, infancy, accident, automatism, and honest and reasonable mistake.

In relation to criminal procedure, the unit examines the hierarchy and responsibility of courts in exercising criminal jurisdiction, as well as the roles and responsibility for prosecution at both State and Federal levels. Students will critically analyse the various processes followed for both indictable and summary offences, from the commencement of proceedings through to presentment of the accused before a court.

The unit will conclude with an overview of sentencing and appeal options.

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Federal Criminal Law
Elective unit

This unit will introduce you to the principal sources and significance of Federal criminal law in Australia.

You will examine the functions, roles and effectiveness of principal Federal agencies, and related regulatory agencies, including the National Crime Authority/Australian Crime Commission, Australian Customs Service, Australian Taxation Office, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Australian Securities and Investment Commission, AUSTRAC and Centrelink.

You will review the findings of various Royal Commissions into organised criminal activity, including revenue fraud, and the establishment of bodies such as the National Crime Authority and AUSTRAC to counter the threat posed by criminal activity. Federal legislation and principles relating to more significant Federal offences, including drug importation, money laundering and revenue offences, will be examined and an analysis of sentencing structures and sanctions available for Federal offences, including confiscation of proceeds of crime, will be undertaken.

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Fundamentals of Law
Core unit

The unit commences with an historical and conceptual overview of the meaning of law in human societies. At the initial stage, the student will examine the main theories and doctrines of law in relation to the legal dimensions of contemporary social, political, economic and cultural issues. The unit will prompt the critical analysis of key questions determining the role of law across different disciplines and societies.

The student will be introduced to matters of legal knowledge regarding the sources, classification, research and interpretation of the law. In particular, the unit will focus on the ‗architecture of law‘, or legal framework, across different social systems, including the structure, functions and purposes of legal institutions and their processes. The student will then be equipped to further develop legal reasoning skills and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of law. In particular, the unit will develop students‘ understanding of the nature and versatility of legal concepts and the connections between them. The unit will conclude with an evaluation of the future dimensions of law, and specifically the need to rethink the conventional legal wisdom at both the local and global levels.

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International Criminal Justice
Elective unit

The unit will commence with a critical overview of the historical and philosophical development of approaches, methods and structures of criminal justice systems across different international jurisdictions. The focus will then move to offer insights into how these features affect our understanding of crime in a global society. The role of international organisations, states and individuals will be addressed in order to capture the nature of international criminal law mechanisms, and the law related to the enforcement of human rights protection.

In particular, the unit will examine the fundamental principles of international criminal law and explain the rationale for cross-border individual criminal responsibility and punishment, as well as for the creation and operation of international criminal tribunals. More specific areas of examination will include the operation of the International Criminal Court. The unit will also introduce students to the history and practice of human rights from the local to the global levels. It will explore the way in which legal systems and processes intersect various disciplines to advance the contribution of human rights to public safety and justice. More specifically, the unit will analyse the role of states, intergovernmental, and nongovernmental organisations in promoting and enforcing human rights protections.

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Sentencing
Core unit

This unit will introduce you to the various complex issues involving sentencing including the historical origins of sentencing, the role and function of sentencers and the main purposes for which a sentence is imposed.

While studying Sentencing you will be introduced to the broad range of matters that may influence a sentence, such as the maximum penalty available, the gravity of the offence, Victim Impact Statements, policy issues and other matters that a sentencer may take into consideration when imposing a sentence. The concept of sentencing at both State and Federal level for adult and child offenders will also be outlined.

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