• Class Number 3678
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Lorana Bartels
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 22/02/2021
  • Class End Date 28/05/2021
  • Census Date 31/03/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
    • Neil Smith
SELT Survey Results

Australian courts represent a fundamental pillar of the criminal justice system. Understanding their role and responsibilities is important for students studying criminology, sociology, law and public policy. In this course, students will be introduced to the key issues and principles which govern the administration of justice, particularly as this relates to the important role of courts within the wider criminal justice system. Both historical and contemporary issues will be explored, including a key focus on recent innovations as the judicial system attempts to become more responsive to the multiplicity of needs within the offender population. Wherever possible, this course is complemented with field visits to the ACT Magistrates and Supreme Courts, as well as the High Court of Australia.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. source and evaluate information and data about the role and function of courts in Australia;
  2. chart the history of innovation in court practice in Australia and its connection to the development of criminal justice policy;
  3. apply both theory and research to critically evaluate the role and function of courts in Australia; and
  4. present the outcomes of research in both oral and written formats.

Research-Led Teaching

Bartels is one of Australia's leading sentencing researchers and also conducts research on a range of other court issues. The teaching in this course will be informed by Bartels' and others' relevant research. Students will also have guest lectures from two ANU academics, as well as legal practitioners, a magistrate and a court administrator. This will enable them to link research to practice.

Field Trips

Students will be required to attend court for 2-3 hours to see the Australian judicial system in operation. They may choose a time of their convenience to do so, but no classes are scheduled in Week 11, in recognition of this time commitment.

Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

None. All required materials will be provided on Wattle.

Findlay, M., Odgers, S., & Yeo, S. (2014). Australian Criminal Justice. 5th ed. Oxford University Press. 

Staff Feedback

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

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

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Course overview and introduction
2 The court system
3 Pre-trial processes and guest lecture
4 The trial
5 Sentencing
6 Appeals and guest lecture
7 Therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice and guest lecture
8 Indigenous peoples and guest lecture
9 Young people and guest lecture
10 Guest lectures
11 No classes
12 Guest lecture and summary

Tutorial Registration

students are required to register for one of the following tutorials on Wednesday: 9 am, 10 am, 12 pm, 3 pm or 4 pm

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Class participation 10 % * 1,2,3,4
Quiz 10 % * 1,2,4
Take-home exam 40 % 12/05/2021 1,3,4
Court report 40 % 30/05/2021 1,2,3,4

* 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 Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

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.


• Students will be expected to demonstrate that they have prepared and understood the required materials for each class.

• This is an ongoing form of assessment that requires you to prepare and actively participate by contributing to tutorials throughout the course.

• Students are also expected to work collaboratively in both small groups and whole class discussion to analyse and discuss issues raised in the course.

• In addition, students are expected to listen attentively to guest lecturers (delivered live) and ask relevant and thoughtful questions of them.


The take-home exam will be released on 6 May 2021 and is due at 11.59pm, 12 May 2021.

It will involve short-answer questions on the key topics covered in the course to that point.

Your response is to be 2,000 words, exclusive of your reference list.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Class participation

See below.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4


Students are required to complete a quiz during the first week of the mid-semester break. The quiz will contain  multiple-choice and true/false questions on the content from Weeks 1-6. 

Assessment Task 3

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 12/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4

Take-home exam

See below.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 30/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Court report

The court report is due at 11.59 pm,30 May 2021. Your response isto be 2,000 wordsexclusive of your reference list.

Students are required to attend and observe court proceedings for 2-3 hours and report critically and reflectively on what they have observed (eg, bail, trial, sentencing, the nature of the offence, the defendant). These observations are to be supported by reference to relevant research.

Check the date, time and location of court proceedings on the Magistrate Court daily lists or Supreme Court daily lists.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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


Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission of the quiz and take-home exam is not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission of the court report is permitted. 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. Extensions may be granted 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 Lorana Bartels

Research Interests

courts and sentencing; prisons and community corrections; the treatment of women and Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system

Prof Lorana Bartels

By Appointment
Neil Smith

Research Interests

Neil Smith

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