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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Intermediate

Former School/College

Former School of Law and Justice

Anti-requisites

LAW00507 Criminal Law and Procedure

Unit aim

Provides the student with an understanding of the principles of substantive Australian criminal law, including a detailed knowledge of the application of these principles in respect of major crimes and defences, as well as the doctrines of complicity and inchoate criminal liability.

Unit content

Part 1 - Introduction

Topic 1 General principles of criminal responsibility (includes issues concerning strict liability and mistake) 

Part 2 - Offences

Topic 2 Unlawful killing (murder and manslaughter) 
Topic 3 (Non sexual) offences against the person 
Topic 4 Sexual offences 
Topic 5 Property offences 
Topic 6 Recent (serious) federal offences 

Part 3 - Defences 

Topic 7 Mental state defences (insanity, automatism and intoxication) 
Topic 8 Partial defences (provocation and diminished responsibility) 
Topic 9 Necessity-based defences (self-defence, duress and necessity)

Part 4 - Extending criminal responsibility 

Topic 10 Complicity
Topic 11 Inchoate offences (attempt, conspiracy and incitement)

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 principles of criminal responsibility Knowledge of a discipline
2 Critically evaluate police, prosecutorial, judicial and legislative decision-making in relation to substantive criminal law Creativity
3 Recognise and analyse the general principles of criminal law theory and describe how power structures in society are reproduced in the criminal law and criminal justice system Intellectual rigour Knowledge of a discipline
4 Identify the definitions of the major crimes and defences found in Australian criminal law (including selected major recent offences under Federal law) and analyse the key substantive criminal law issues raised Knowledge of a discipline
5 Describe and critically evaluate how criminal liability is expanded through the doctrines of complicity in crime and inchoate offences Knowledge of a discipline
6 Identify, apply and analyse primary and secondary sources of substantive criminal law, including internet resources, reports and visual media. Creativity
7 Demonstrate analytical and written skills in the presentation of research and argument in the field of substantive criminal law Intellectual rigour

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

  1. Identify and demonstrate knowledge of the major principles of criminal responsibility
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  2. Critically evaluate police, prosecutorial, judicial and legislative decision-making in relation to substantive criminal law
    • GA2: Creativity
  3. Recognise and analyse the general principles of criminal law theory and describe how power structures in society are reproduced in the criminal law and criminal justice system
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  4. Identify the definitions of the major crimes and defences found in Australian criminal law (including selected major recent offences under Federal law) and analyse the key substantive criminal law issues raised
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  5. Describe and critically evaluate how criminal liability is expanded through the doctrines of complicity in crime and inchoate offences
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  6. Identify, apply and analyse primary and secondary sources of substantive criminal law, including internet resources, reports and visual media.
    • GA2: Creativity
  7. Demonstrate analytical and written skills in the presentation of research and argument in the field of substantive criminal law
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour

Prescribed texts

  • Bronitt, S & McSherry, B, 2010, Principles of Criminal Law, 3rd edn, Lawbook Co., Sydney. ISBN: 9780455226125.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.