• Class Number 2251
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Mark Nolan
    • Prof Mark Nolan
    • Dr Wendy Kukulies-Smith
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces students to the sources of law which define general principles of criminal responsibility, and to a selection of substantive criminal offences and criminal defences as well as to criminal procedure.  The substantive offences include assault, sexual assault, murder, manslaughter, and property offences, whilst the criminal defences  include provocation and self-defence. Students will be exposed to common law sources as well as legislation and criminal codes where relevant. Basic legal theories of the criminal law will also be introduced. The lecture program will be supported by problem-solving tutorials aimed at enabling students to give legal advice as to criminal liability and the resolution of procedural problems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Identify, explain and apply the principles of criminal law covered in the course;
  2. Access, use, interpret and apply complex statutory material to solve criminal law problems
  3. Select and apply a range of approaches to written and oral communication, and apply the critical thinking required to bring about solutions to complex criminal law problems and/or issues in the context of individual and collaborative problem solving.

Research-Led Teaching

Criminal law is a dynamic and constantly changing area of the law. Research in this field cuts across disciplines and includes research in psychology, sociology, criminology, race theory, feminist theory, and legal history

In this course we look not only at the basic concepts of criminal responsibility and core offences and defences but we also explore the political influences upon the law and explore topical social and legal debates occurring within the field of criminal law. Lecturers in this course will bring their own research findings and expertise in this diverse field of law into the classroom. The prescribed text, Bronitt and McSherry, Principles of Criminal Law (4th ed, Lawbook Co, 2017) has been specifically chosen as it accommodates a wide conceptual framework for the study of Criminal Law and Procedure and references research crucial to a critical understanding of the law.

Required Resources

S Bronitt and B McSherry, Principles of Criminal Law (4th Edition, Pyrmont: Lawbook Co, 2017).

RN Howie and PA Johnson, Annotated Criminal Legislation New South Wales 2018- 2019 edition (or other version of all statutory provisions we will refer to in lectures and tutorials).

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Extensions late submission and penalties - https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Penalties for excess word length: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Distribution of Grades Policy: Effective from Winter Session and Second Semester 2018 (and until further notice), the current Grading Distribution Policy has been suspended pending the development of a new policy. For further information about the interim policy please see: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/grading

Further Information about the Course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly for announcements and update to this information.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 3 hours lecture (MN): Course Introduction, Constructing the Criminal Law; Indigenous People and the Criminal Justice System; Principles of Criminal Responsibility Tutorial enrolment closes on WATTLE 12 noon Thurs 28 Feb No tutorial
2 3 hours lecture (MN & WKS): Principles of Criminal Responsibility continued; Strict and Absolute Liability; Public Order Offences. The Relationship between Criminal Law and Procedure; Selected Principles and Aspects of Criminal Procedure No tutorial
3 2 hours lecture (WKS): Selected Principles and Aspects of Criminal Procedure 1 hour tutorial: Introductory tutorial
4 2 hours lecture (WKS): Murder 1 hour tutorial: Strict and Absolute Liability Quiz released noon Tues 19 Mar and due noon Fri 22 March
5 2 hours lecture (WKS): Manslaughter Offences 1 hour tutorial: Murder
6 2 hours lecture (MN): Assault Offences 1 hour tutorial: Manslaughter Offences
7 2 hours lecture (WKS): Sexual Assault 1 hour tutorial: Assault Offences
8 2 hours lecture (WKS): Complicity 1 hour tutorial: Sexual Assault
9 2 hours lecture (MN): Defences 1 hour tutorial: Complicity
10 2 hours lecture (MN): Defences 1 hour tutorial: Exam preparation tutorial
11 2 hours lecture (MN): Code Jurisdictions & Property Offences (ACT) 1 hour tutorial: Defences
12 2 hours lecture: (MN): Property Offences (ACT) (Continued) 1 hour tutorial: Property Offences

Tutorial Registration

You need to enrol in a tutorial group via the course Wattle. At least 50% of tutorials will be released by 12 Feb for enrolment via WATTLE.

You must enrol in tutorials via the WATTLE website. The final list of tutorials will be available for enrolment online on WATTLE from 12 noon Thursday 21 Feb (O-Week). Tutorial enrolment will remain open until noon on Thursday 28 February (Week 1). You have a week to enrol in a tutorial group – the onus is on you to get yourself sorted during that period. You can swap in and out of groups while enrolment is open but be aware that spots in some tutorials may go quickly.

If you have not enrolled in a tutorial group by Thursday 28 February noon you will need to contact the Convenor to be manually placed in a tutorial group. Your class options will be very limited at this point and you will be offered a spot in a tutorial group which is not yet full. For the duration of the course, you are not permitted to attend a tutorial group which you are not formally enrolled in.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
WATTLE Quiz 30 % 22/03/2019 05/04/2019 1,2
Tutorial Attendance 0 % 31/05/2019 04/07/2019 4,7,8,9,10
Invigilated Examination 70 % 06/06/2019 04/07/2019 1,2,3,5,6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.



Please note, that the dates used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams indicate approximate timeframes. Students should consult the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 22/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 05/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2


Details of task: Quiz to test basic knowledge of principles of criminal responsibility and procedural law as taught in the course up until the release of the quiz. There will be a problem scenario upon which some of the multiple choice quiz questions will be based, the other multiple choice questions will test knowledge of statutory provisions and case law relating to principles of criminal responsibility and procedural law. A problem scenario upon which some of the questions are based will be released on Friday 15 March.

Nature of task: Compulsory and NOT redeemable. The consequence of non-completion of this assessment task is a 0 mark for this assessment task.

Weighting: 30%.

Release of problem question: Friday 15 March via WATTLE

Release of quiz questions: 12 noon Tuesday 19 March via WATTLE

Due date:12 noon on Friday 22 March via WATTLE. Late submissions (without an extensions) will not be accepted. Extensions will not be granted past 3 April 2019.

Duration: 30 minutes. Once the quiz opens students can login at any time within the assessment window and complete the quiz. Each student will have 30 mins once logged on to complete the quiz and all questions will appear in one scrollable window. Note that each student can access the quiz only once and for a maximum period of 30 minutes. .

Estimated return date:  A score will be available on WATTLE by the end of Week 6.

Assessment Criteria: This assessment task will not be supported by a marking rubric. The CrimPro quiz is designed to enhance student competence in the following skills: statutory interpretation (especially elements analysis), legal problem-solving, critical and analytical thinking, creative thinking, legal argument, working independently. Each student will be marked as correct or incorrect for each of the 10 multiple choice questions (randomly generated). 

Assessment Task 2

Value: 0 %
Due Date: 31/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 4,7,8,9,10

Tutorial Attendance

Details of Task: Tutorial attendance is primarily designed to ensure that all students fully and actively engage with the material in this course. Attendance and participation also gives students confidence with criminal law problem solving and with orally presenting ideas, arguments and approaches. It also allows students to receive immediate feedback in class. A stated objective and expected learning outcome of the course is that students contribute to the learning of others. Regular attendance and participation is required so that this and the other objectives in the list above can be pursued. In addition to crafting legal analysis of criminal liability, all students in all seminars will also be encouraged to engage in critical discussion aimed at debating the purposes and values of the criminal law.

Nature of Task: Students must attend at least 8 of the 10 tutorials scheduled in this course. The minimum attendance rule is that students who miss more than 2 of the 10 compulsory tutorials without documented illness or special circumstances will receive a penalty of 5 marks.

Weighting: 0%, but a possible penalty of 5 marks (out of a course mark of 100) for insufficient attendance.

Release Date: Ongoing

Due Date: Ongoing

Estimated Return Date: Students penalised for poor tutorial attendance will be notified after the release of final results in the course.

Assessment Criteria: The 5 mark penalty for missing more than two tutorial (except in extenuating and exceptional circumstances which are supported by documentation) reflects the importance of seminars attendance for the development of the skills assessed in this course and the time given by tutors who are often practitioners.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 70 %
Due Date: 06/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5,6

Invigilated Examination

Details of task: There will be a formal, sit down exam at the end of the course. The final exam will cover everything in the course except criminal procedure will not be re-examined.

Nature of task: Compulsory. The consequence of non-completion of this assessment task is a 0 mark for this assessment task.

Timing: During the final examination period. Please note, that the dates used in the Assessment Summary in relation to exams indicate approximate time frames. Students should consult the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Duration: Reading time will be 15 mins. Writing time will be 2 hours.

Permitted Materials: Any except ANU library books and excluded electronic devices.

Value or weighting: 70%

Estimated return date: after final results are released via the Services office.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Organisation of answer, particularly re logical organisation and sound HIRAC methodology (taking account of exam conditions);
  • Economy of answer (taking account of exam conditions);
  • Identification of issues and discussion and application of relevant legal principles (taking account of exam conditions);
  • Formulation of relevant legal arguments (taking account of exam conditions);
  • Issues of clarity and precision/accuracy (taking account of exam conditions).

This assessment task will be supported by the use of an exam problem question assessment marking rubric based on the above criteria. The rubric will be included as feedback in your hard copy exam script book when marked exam booklets are available for collection.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Mark Nolan
02 61258354

Research Interests

Prof Mark Nolan

Monday 11:00 12:00
Dr Wendy Kukulies-Smith
02 6125 7790

Research Interests

Dr Wendy Kukulies-Smith

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions