• Offered by ANU Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Course convener
    • Prof Mark Nolan
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course LAWS6106
  • Offered in First Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

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. Basic legal theories of the criminal law will also be introduced. The lecture program will be supported by problem-solving tutorials aimed at enabling students to give legal advice as to criminal liability and the resolution of procedural problems.

Learning Outcomes

The objectives of this course are to enable students to:

·         engage with the criminal law and procedure of NSW as well as a small portion of the codified criminal law of the ACT;

·         gain a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the relevant substantive and procedural legislation and case law meeting ‘Priestley Eleven’ requirement;

·         become familiar with the more important debates about the purposes of the criminal law and the fundamental concepts that it embodies; and

·         appreciate the broad political and social forces that shape selected areas of the criminal law.

By the conclusion of this course, students who have successfully completed all of the requirements will have the knowledge and skills to:

1.      Identify, explain and apply the principles of criminal law covered in the course;

2.      Access, use, interpret and apply complex statutory material to solve criminal law problems

3.      Select and apply a range of approaches to written and oral communication, and apply the critical thinking required to bring about solutions to complex criminal law problems and/or issues in the context of individual and collaborative problem solving.

Other Information

* Prescribed text has been updated with a new edition of textbook

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial participation, a team debate, a mid-semester exam and an exam at the end of the course.

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.


There will be 3 hours of large group lectures each week supplemented by a tutorial program. A further 6 plus hours of private study is expected per week in order to review required reading and to prepare for tutorials.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a program which includes the Bachelor of Laws and completed LAWS1201 Foundations of Australian Law.

Prescribed Texts

Simon Bronitt and Bernadette McSherry, Principles of Criminal Law (4th Edition, Pyrmont: Thomson Reuters LawBook Co, 2017).

RN Howie and PA Johnson, Annotated Criminal Legislation New South Wales 2016- 2017 edition (Lexis Nexis, 2015).


Preliminary Reading

None.  Consult course outline for Week 1 reading.

Indicative Reading List

Please consult the Course Study Guide.


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:
Band 3
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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $3420
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4860
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
2344 19 Feb 2018 27 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person

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