• Class Number 3280
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Lorana Bartels
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
    • 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 around 3 hours to see the Australian judicial system in operation. They may choose a time of their convenience to do so. In recognition of this time commitment, no classes are scheduled in Week 12.

Additional Course Costs

Students will be required to bear any costs of travel to court (which are likely to be similar to travel to class, as the ACT courts are a short walk from the ANU campus).

Required Resources

None. All required materials will be provided on Wattle.

Whether you are on campus or studying remotely, there are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

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 The trial ctd. and guest lecture
6 Sentencing
7 Appeals and guest lecture
8 Therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice and guest lecture
9 Indigenous peoples and guest lecture
10 Young people and domestic/family violence
11 Future directions, conclusion and guest lecture
12 No classes

Tutorial Registration

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.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Class participation 10 % * 1,2,3,4
Quizzes 20 % * 1,2,4
Court report 30 % 23/04/2023 1,2,3,4
Research essay 40 % 21/05/2023 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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 students to prepare and actively participate by contributing to tutorials throughout the course. They will also have the option of submitting their written responses on Wattle.

• 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 and respectively to guest lecturers delivered live and ask relevant and thoughtful questions.



Assessment Task 1

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

Class participation

See below and instructions on Wattle.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4


Students are required to complete two mutiple choice and/or true/false quizzes, each worth 10% of their final mark - one in the first week of the mid-semester break and one in Week 12. Each quiz will be open for an hour of the student's choosing over a one-week period.

Extensions are NOT permitted.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 23/04/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Court report

Students are required to attend and observe court proceedings for about 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.

This assessment is due at 11.59 pm on 23 April 2023. Responses are to be 1,500 words, exclusive of the reference list (subject to the 10% rule).The rubric and further details are available on Wattle.

Extensions ARE available for this assessment task.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 21/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research essay

Students are required to complete a research essay on a topic covered in the course. Indicative topics will be provided or students are welcome to develop their own topic.

This assessment is due at 11.59 pm on 21 May 2023. Responses are to be 2,000 words, exclusive of the reference list (subject to the 10% rule). The rubric and further details are available on Wattle.

Extensions ARE available for this assessment task.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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, especially juries and therapeutic jurisprudence; sentencing, including sentencing policy; prisons and community corrections; the treatment of women, young people and Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system

Prof Lorana Bartels

By Appointment
Neil Smith

Research Interests

Neil Smith

By Appointment

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