Advanced Criminal Law

Course code LAWS5003Units 10Level 5000Faculty of Business and LawNewcastle Law School

Explores some themes in the criminal law related to the importance of the mental element in crime generally together with advanced analysis of mental state defences. Other topics will vary with each offering to reflect recent and significant issues in the criminal law and may include the role and impact of policing and prosecution agencies in the criminal justice system, the importance of sentencing law and practice, the federal-state framework of Australian criminal laws, and the elements and investigation of some particular criminal offences. The contemporary issues examined in the course will be set to reflect current reform and critical comment.

Not available in 2015

Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesLO1. Knowledge and deep understanding of the current theoretical and practical issues relating to the concept of crime and the role of criminal law in society.
LO2. Knowledge and understanding at an advanced level of criminal responsibility, criminal offences, mental state defences, defences of compulsion, the principal agencies involved in the administration of criminal justice and sentencing.
LO3. The ability to critically examine the role of criminal law in the criminal justice system, including issues of policy, practice and procedure, which may influence the outcome of cases and formulation of legislation in this area of law.
LO4. A sound capacity to analyse and apply principles of law through the appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms in the specific context of the advanced study of criminal law.
LO5. Sound development in the skills of legal research, oral and written communication, synthesis and analysis of primary and secondary legal materials, and analysis and evaluation of competing policy considerations in a dynamic legal environment.
Content1. "Crime and the mind" - thematic topic involving advanced analysis of intention, knowledge and volition in criminal responsibility, including joint criminal enterprises. Also will involve further analysis of mental state defences in the criminal law.

2. Focus study's on selected criminal offences using cases and/or problems to look at the substantive elements of the offence, investigation, pre-trial and trial procedures by prosecution and defence, punishment and appeal issues.

3. The principal agents in the administration of criminal justice - critical examination of the role of police and prosecutorial agencies in the criminal justice system, including issues arising from the Wood Royal Commission into the NSW Police Service.

4. Federal criminal law - examination of the federal-state framework of Australian criminal laws including the development and implementation of a national criminal code.

5. Sentencing issues in the criminal justice system - advanced analysis of the theoretical principles of sentencing and their practical application in contemporary sentencing systems.

6. Current Issues in Criminal Justice - to reflect any important issues of current theoretical and practical significance requiring critical examination of proposed reforms not otherwise dealt with under fixed course content.
Replacing Course(s)n/a
Industrial Experience0
Assumed KnowledgeLAWS1003A, LAWS1003B, LAWS2004A and LAWS2004B
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsProblem Based Learning
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsResearch Paper or Problem Solving Assignment
Examination: Take HomeTake Home examination
Other: (please specify)Blog Post
Presentations - ClassOptional
Contact HoursSeminar: for 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components
Requisite by EnrolmentThis course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws and associated combined degree programs or the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and associated combined degree programs.