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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

Pre-requisites

Must have completed or be currently enrolled in LEGL1001 - Legal Research and Writing AND LEGL1005 - 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.

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, crime control and individual liberty, and the interests of the key stakeholders
2 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
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.
4 Assess how disadvantaged groups, such as Indigenous Australians and children, are treated by the Australian criminal justice system.

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, crime control and individual liberty, and the interests of the key stakeholders
  2. 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
  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.
  4. Assess how disadvantaged groups, such as Indigenous Australians and children, are treated by the Australian criminal justice system.

Prescribed texts

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.