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. Key legal theories of the criminal law will also be introduced. The lecture program is supported by interactive seminars that enable students both to engage with the application of legal principles to set fact scenarios and to consider issues of policy and law reform related to the substantive and procedural law that they are studying.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Define and contrast key features of the NSW common law and the ACT criminal law (namely offences, defences, arguments in defence and general principles of criminal responsibility);
- Formulate and integrate substantive and procedural law arguments;
- define, explain, distinguish and apply relevant legal principles to a set of facts (ie identifying legal issues in a factual scenario, accurately explaining and applying the relevant legal principles to those facts and using appropriate skills of legal reasoning and argumentation to generate a legally sustainable conclusion);
- Do so (see the point above) both orally and in written form;
- Demonstrate familiarity with relevant legislation, case law and other course readings;
- Demonstrate precision and conciseness in formulating precise statements of legal principle;
- Work collaboratively with team members and peer assess the performance of fellow team members;
- Contribute to the learning of others (through teamwork, regular attendance at tutorials and contribution to tutorial discussions);
- Demonstrate a capacity to discriminate between problematic and non-problematic legal issues embedded in a set of facts;
- Reflect critically on and synthesise the more important policy and law reform debates in the context of theoretical debates as raised by the modern criminal law;
- Research and apply knowledge derived from the course content and readings with autonomy, judgment and adaptability in order to develop a sustainable analysis or argument concerning particular topics, issues or debates relating to NSW criminal law.
- Quiz (30) [LO 1,5,9,10]
- Tutorial presentation (10) [LO 2,4,6,7,8,9,10]
- Take-home exam (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,9,10]
- Oral exam based on take-home exam (10) [LO 3,4,9]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week (a minimum of 36 hours). Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.
Requisite and Incompatibility
S Bronitt and B McSherry, Principles of Criminal Law (4t edition, LawBookCo, 2017). ISBN 9780455237909
RN Howie and PA Johnson, Annotated Criminal Legislation New South Wales 2018-2019 edition (Lexis Nexis; note, updated yearly). ISBN 9780409349320
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.