• Offered by ANU Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course offers an opportunity to engage in a critical analysis of the criminal justice system and the criminal law, using some contemporary approaches from the fields of criminology, criminal justice, penology and sociolegal studies.
The course will give students an opportunity to understand the role of key participants in the criminal justice field, including police, prosecutors, judicial officers, other law-makers from the legislative and executive arms of government, and defence lawyers. Students will analyse how criminalisation can occur, including examining  
• why some behaviours/omissions/statuses are criminalised and others not;
• the impact of discretionary choices by justice actors on the criminalisation of individuals;
• the impact of criminalisation of some individuals on their social/cultural group;
• the differential impact of the criminal justice system on some social/cultural  groups relative to others;
• why indigenous people are so starkly overrepresented at all levels of the criminal justice system;
• the role and extent of summary justice in the criminal justice system; and,
• the impact on criminalisation of pre-trial processes, such as police powers and practices, bail and plea bargaining.
This course will also supplement existing doctrinal knowledge of criminal law, by introducing students to key areas of criminal law: bail law, police powers, public order offences, drug offences and sentencing, and will also expose students to some emerging areas of criminal law.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Explain, distinguish and apply different theoretical approaches to criminal law arising from various academic disciplines and methodologies (including critical criminal justice, critical criminology, and sociolegal studies)
  2. Use this advanced knowledge and skill to analyse and theorise about a range of complex issues, both historical and contemporary, concerning the construction of the criminal law and its impacts on individuals and social groups, including marginal groups and dominant groups.
  3. Explain, distinguish and evaluate the differential impact of the criminal law on vulnerable individuals and marginalised groups, including the way that gender, class, race, indigeneity and/or sexuality can intersect and affect criminal justice outcomes,
  4. Identify, analyse and reflect upon the role of the state and other actors in the regulation of conduct that is categorised as criminal.

Other Information

Classes may be offered in non-standard sessions and be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (a minimum of 36 hours). Please refer to the LLB timetable for dates. Please contact the ANU College of Law Student Administration Services to request a permission code to enrol in classes offered in non-standard sessions.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Class presentation & participation (null) [LO null]
  2. Annotated bibliography (null) [LO null]
  3. Court report 1250 words (null) [LO null]
  4. Research essay 2500 words (null) [LO null]

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


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.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a: Bachelor of Laws (ALLB, BLLBA), have completed or be completing five 1000 level LAWS courses and have completed LAWS1206 Criminal Law and Procedure; OR Juris Doctor (MJD), and have completed or be completing five 1000 or 6100 level LAWS courses and have completed LAWS1206/LAWS6106 Criminal Law and Procedure.

Prescribed Texts

Steel, Alex, et al. Criminal Laws: Materials and commentary on criminal law and process in NSW. (2015). 6th ed.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $4170
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2021 $5580
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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