• Class Number 4272
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online
    • AsPr Anthony Hopkins
    • AsPr Anthony Hopkins
  • 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
SELT Survey Results

The aim of this course is to provide an opportunity for students to:

  • be familiar with the sentencing process and key theories, legal rules and policy issues relating to sentencing in Australia;
  • consolidate and build upon the skills and knowledge gained during their study of Criminal Law and Procedure;
  • be familiar with sentencing legislation and case law that guides the exercise of the sentencing discretion in State, Territory and Commonwealth jurisdictions;
  • facilitate the development of oral and written presentation, discussion and argumentation skills in relation to sentencing law, process, policy and reform.

The course will take a practical, doctrinal, theoretical and critical approach to the study of sentencing law and practice in Australia. The course will familiarise students with legislation and case law that guides the exercise of the sentencing discretion in State, Territory and Commonwealth jurisdictions. A comparative approach will be adopted to facilitate a deeper analysis of emerging issues and core topics. Guest lectures and/or interviews may be offered. Topics will be selected from a range of aspects of sentencing law and practice which may include: theories of punishment, public opinion and public confidence, the role of victims in sentencing, purposes of sentencing, principles of sentencing; mitigating and aggravating factors, sentencing young offenders, sentencing Indigenous offenders, sentencing federal offenders, custodial sentencing, non-custodial sentencing, sentencing appeals as well as sentencing reform and innovation.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify, explain, critically analyse and apply the sentencing law, purposes, principles and processes covered in the course;
  2. Explore and synthesise issues relating to sentencing law and practice and prepare oral and written arguments on the topic, issue or debate covered;
  3. Use legal research skills, and interdisciplinary research skills to, access a range of legal materials and other research materials in literature databases and other online sources;
  4. Synthesise and critically evaluate the theory, law and practice of sentencing, including arguments for reform and innovation;

Research-Led Teaching

Associate Professor Anthony Hopkins is a practicing criminal defence barrister with an established track record of research scholarship (including PhD) and professional and community engagement activities focused on sentencing and criminal justice law reform. The course will draw upon the expertise of judicial officers, practitioners and internationally recognised academics in the field.

Field Trips

There is no formal field trip in this course. However, all students are strongly encouraged to attend the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory or equivalent in another jurisdiction to observe the conduct of a sentencing hearing. Observation of a sentencing hearing will support students to develop their understanding of sentencing principles and process and to complete the sentencing submission assessment in role as prosecution of defence counsel.

Additional Course Costs

There are no additional class costs.

Required Resources

Mirko Bagaric, Theo Alexander and Richard Edney, Sentencing in Australia (Thomson Reuters Lawbook Co. 8th ed, 2020)

Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 (ACT)

Further resources including links to focus cases and online materials will provided via the course Wattle site.

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
  • via rubric

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 interim scaling guideline applies to all courses in the LLB (Hons) and JD programs. 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 throughout the course for details on weekly classes and any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to Sentencing, Punishment and Imprisonment
2 Purposes of Sentencing, Principles and Proportionality
3 Sentencing Considerations, Instinctive Synthesis and Appeals
4 Sentencing Hearings, Roles and Ethical Responsibilities
5 Aggravating and Mitigating Factors 1
6 Aggravating and Mitigating Factors 2 Sentencing Submission (audio visual recording)
7 Therapeutic Jurisprudence
8 Indigeneity and Indigenous Experience in Sentencing
9 Victim/Survivors in Sentencing and Restorative Justice
10 Young Offenders
11 Solution Focused Courts
12 Beyond the Prison: Abolition, Justice Reinvestment and Radical Law Reform Research Project

Tutorial Registration

There are no tutorials for this course.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Sentencing Submission 30 % 01/04/2021 19/04/2021 1, 2, 3, 4
Research Project/Essay 70 % 28/05/2021 * 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.


There is no participation mark for this course. However, it is expected that students will attend and participate in weekly seminars which are designed to support student learning and prepare students for assessment tasks. Seminars are online live and designed to maximise participation. Recordings will be available but these will not capture the participatory aspects of the seminar.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 01/04/2021
Return of Assessment: 19/04/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Sentencing Submission

Brief Description: The Sentencing Submission assessment requires each student to make an audio visual recording of themselves making a sentencing submission in role as counsel for the prosecution or defence in a mock (imagined) ACT Supreme Court sentencing hearing on behalf of the prosecution or an offender by reference to a provided sentencing brief (case file). Students will need to choose from a small number of case files which will be provided to them in the first week of the semester. In addition to uploading an audio visual recording of their submission, students are required to submit a one page list of authorities.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Non-completion of this task will result in a 0 for this assessment task.

Time/Word Limit: 8 minutes maximum plus one page list of authorities. Where a student uploads a submission recording that exceeds 8 minutes, only the first 8 minutes of that recording will be marked.

Weighting: 30%

Release: Sentencing Briefs (case files) and assessment instructions will be released by 4pm 1 March 2021 via Wattle.

Due date: 5 pm Thursday 1 April 2021 via Wattle. Late submission (without an extension) is permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Estimated return date: 19 April 2021

Assessment Criteria:

  • Presentation, organisation, structure, delivery, manner and role simulation (including ethics)
  • Identification and synthesis of facts and issues arising from sentencing brief
  • Identification and application of relevant sentencing law, purposes, principles and processes
  • Quality and persuasiveness of sentencing submission including with respect to penalty/disposition

An assessment rubric and details of this assessment task will be available on the Wattle site

Assessment Task 2

Value: 70 %
Due Date: 28/05/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Research Project/Essay

Brief Description: Students are to select from a range of research essay topics/questions and write an essay that critically engages with an aspect of the theory, law or practice of sentencing, including arguments for reform and innovation. Students may also develop their own research essay topic or question, subject to approval being given by the convenor.

Nature of Task: Compulsory. Failure to submit the essay will result in a 0 for this task

Weighting: 70%

Word limit: 3000 words

Release: 9am Monday 19 April 2021 via Wattle.

Due date: 5pm on Friday 28 May 2021 via Turnitin. Late submission (without an extension) is permitted, although late penalties will apply.

Estimated return date: After finalisation of results

Assessment Criteria:

  • Articulation of research question/problem being addressed and its importance;
  • Persuasiveness of argument in response to question or problem;
  • Structure and logical development;
  • Quality of critical analysis;
  • Breadth and depth of relevant research;
  • Quality of written expression;
  • Referencing and compliance with AGLC

An assessment rubric and details of this assessment task will be available on the Wattle site

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

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

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

  • Late submission 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 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).

AsPr Anthony Hopkins

Research Interests

Criminal Justice, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Decarceration, Emotion in Law, Mindfulness and Compassion

AsPr Anthony Hopkins

Thursday 14:00 16:00
Thursday 14:00 16:00
AsPr Anthony Hopkins
02 6125 3483

Research Interests

AsPr Anthony Hopkins

Thursday 14:00 16:00
Thursday 14:00 16:00

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