Availabilities:

Location Domestic International
Gold Coast
Lismore
Online
Session1, 1

Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Introductory

Former School/College

Former School of Law and Justice

Pre-requisites

Must have completed or be currently enrolled in LAW00051 - Legal Research and Writing AND LAW00111 - Legal Process

Anti-requisites

LAW00507 Criminal Law and Procedure AND not available for students admitted to the Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal Studies) or Bachelor of Legal and Justice Studies.

Unit aim

Provides the student with an introduction to the Australian criminal justice system, together with the principles and major procedural stages of Australian criminal procedure. This will include issues concerning police powers of arrest, search, seizure and interrogation; bail; right to legal representation; committal proceedings; juries; sentencing; appeals; the role of crime victims and anti-terrorism legislation. The unit also examines how the criminal justice system treats traditionally disadvantaged groups, such as children and Australian Indigenous peoples.

Unit content

Part 1 - Introducing the Australian criminal justice system in context
Topic 1 Introduction to criminal justice
Topic 2 Dichotomies of the Australian criminal justice system
Topic 3 The key stakeholders in the Australian criminal justice system (the defendant; the victim; the 'community' and the state)

Part 2 - Steps in criminal procedure
Topic 4 Criminal process I: investigation
Topic 5 Criminal process II: pre-trial
Topic 6 Criminal process III: the trial: the determination of guilt phase
Topic 7 Criminal process IV: the trial: the sentencing phase
Topic 8 Criminal process V: post-trial issues

Part 3 - Disadvantaged groups and Australian criminal justice
Topic 9 Indigenous Australians and the criminal justice system
Topic 10 Children and the criminal justice system

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 identify and demonstrate knowledge of the major aspects of the Australian criminal justice system and how this system attempts to account for the interests of its key stakeholders - defendants, victims, the community and the state. Knowledge of a discipline
2 critically evaluate police, prosecutorial, judicial and legislative decision-making in relation to criminal procedure. Creativity
3 recognise and analyse the general principles of criminal law theory and of criminal responsibility, and describe how power structures in society are reproduced in the criminal law and criminal justice system. Creativity
4 give an account of and appraise the law in Australia in relation to each of the main procedural stages of the criminal justice system, assessing how the law takes into account the competing public policy considerations of crime control and individual liberty, and the interests of the key stakeholders. Knowledge of a discipline
5 review the manner in which disadvantages groups, such as Indigenous Australians and children, are treated by the Australian criminal justice system. Intellectual rigour
6 identify and be able to apply and analyse, in an effective manner, primary and secondary sources of criminal procedure law, including internet resources, reports and visual media. Intellectual rigour
7 demonstrate analytical and written skills in the presentation of research and argument in the field of criminal procedure. Intellectual rigour

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. identify and demonstrate knowledge of the major aspects of the Australian criminal justice system and how this system attempts to account for the interests of its key stakeholders - defendants, victims, the community and the state.
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  2. critically evaluate police, prosecutorial, judicial and legislative decision-making in relation to criminal procedure.
    • GA2: Creativity
  3. recognise and analyse the general principles of criminal law theory and of criminal responsibility, and describe how power structures in society are reproduced in the criminal law and criminal justice system.
    • GA2: Creativity
  4. give an account of and appraise the law in Australia in relation to each of the main procedural stages of the criminal justice system, assessing how the law takes into account the competing public policy considerations of crime control and individual liberty, and the interests of the key stakeholders.
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  5. review the manner in which disadvantages groups, such as Indigenous Australians and children, are treated by the Australian criminal justice system.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
  6. identify and be able to apply and analyse, in an effective manner, primary and secondary sources of criminal procedure law, including internet resources, reports and visual media.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
  7. demonstrate analytical and written skills in the presentation of research and argument in the field of criminal procedure.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour

Prescribed texts

  • Findlay, M, Odgers, S & Yeo, S, 2009, Australian Criminal Justice , 4th edn, Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780195551310.
  • This is also the prescribed text for LAW10004 : Bronitt, S & McSherry, B, 2010, Principles of Criminal Law, 3rd edn, Lawbook Co, Pyrmont, NSW. ISBN: 978 0 455 22612 5.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.