Course Title: Apply foundation legal principles

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

Course Code: JUST5724

Course Title: Apply foundation legal principles

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4323 - Certificate IV in Justice

Course Contact: Irene Pagliarella, Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4581

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

George Dumas
Ph: 9925 4203

Nominal Hours: 70

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will develop the skills and knowledge required to apply various aspects of law and jurisdiction processes and procedures relevant to working within the Victorian criminal justice system. You will be provided an introduction to the Victorian and Australian legal system including the Constitution; legislative and law making bodies; adjudication and enforcement.       

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20868 Apply foundation legal principles


1. Investigate the origins and the sources of State and Federal law and their application to the Victorian Justice environment.



Performance Criteria:

1.1 Australian law prior to federation is delineated.
1.2 Federal and State Constitutional powers and their limitations are identified
1.3 Law making through Parliament, the Courts and sub-ordinate authorities are investigated.
1.4 Main aims and elements of administrative, civil and criminal law and their application to the Victorian justice environment are explored.


2. Explore the function, operation and jurisdiction of Victorian Courts and Tribunals within the Australian Court system


Performance Criteria:

2.1 Structure and jurisdiction of the Victorian courts and tribunals are delineated.
2.2 Process of civil and criminal actions and appeals, including the functions and responsibilities of the parties involved are identified.
2.3 Different approaches and applications to statutory interpretation are analysed, evaluated and applied to legal matters.
2.4 Therapeutic justice principles, within a court framework, are examined.


3. Explore the role of Administrative law in the Victorian Justice system.


Performance Criteria:

3.1 Principles of natural justice are analysed.
3.2 Grounds on which an administrative decision/action may be reviewed or challenged in the courts and tribunals are examined.
3.3 Legislative and common law provisions relating to the judicial review by the courts and tribunals are examined.


4. Identify and apply appropriate elements of the Victorian legal system to current/potential Justice Environment job roles.


Performance Criteria:

4.1 Application of the law, its functions and processes within current/potential justice environment job roles is delineated and practiced
4.2 Skills, knowledge and attitudes appropriate for conducting job role within legal contexts are determined and applied.
4.3 Etiquette and protocols for attendance/appearance at courts and tribunals is researched and practiced.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency in the above elements and also;

• Provide the application of law, functions and processes of the Victorian legal system relevant to current/potential justice environment job roles
• Demonstrate the application of correct etiquette and protocols for attendance/appearance at Victorian courts and/or tribunals
• Apply the knowledge of powers and functions of law, law courts and sub‐ ordinate authorities of the civil, criminal and administrative components of the Victorian legal system

Details of Learning Activities

You will participate in a variety of learning activities. They include the following activities:

  • Lectures
  • Role plays
  • Observations
  • Demonstrations
  • Presentations
  • Class discussions/group activities
  • Oral and written questioning
  • Incursion/guest speakers

Out of class activities:

  • Readings
  • Case studies
  • Role plays
  • Observations
  • Excursions /Justice Procedural Camp
  • Knowledge-based tests/questionnaires

Teaching Schedule

Week One: Introduction to Course and expected outcomes, Course guides issued and discussed with students.
Australian law, types and sources of law, statutory interpretations (definitions)

Week Two: Federal and State system of government, Constitutional powers and limitations – Commonwealth and State, separation of powers

Week Three: Commonwealth and State Parliament structure/functions, law making through Parliament and Statutory authorities.

Week Four: Law making through the courts, statutory interpretations

Formative assessment 1

Week Five: Aims and element of civil law and its application to the Victorian justice environment

Week Six: Process of civil action and appeals

Week Seven: Aims and elements of criminal law and its applications

Week Eight: Process of criminal action and appeals

Week Nine: Therapeutic justice. Application of the law

Formative assessment 2. Issue of instructions of final assessment tasks and discussions of criteria.

Week Ten: Principles of natural justice, aims and element of Administrative law and its applications

Week Eleven: Grounds for review or challenges in court, legislative and common law provisions

Week Twelve: Practical exercises on court protocols

Formative assessment 3

Week Thirteen: Structure and jurisdiction of Victorian Courts and Tribunals. Function and responsibilities of the parties

Week Fourteen: Justice Procedural Camp (JPC). Simulations and practical exercises on court procedures, etiquette and protocols. Moot court practice
Summative assessment 1 (graded)

Week Fifteen: Application of appropriate elements of Victorian legal system to job roles in justice. Application of the law

Week Sixteen: Application of appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes for conducting job roles in the legal context

Week Seventeen: Revision of course material. Discussion of draft final assignment

Week Eighteen: Written examination

The teaching schedule outlined above is subject to change depending on your assimilation of knowledge and skills of the subject matter, and on changes to legislation as well as unforeseen circumstances.

As a student you need to demonstrate both knowledge and practical skills relevant to the course content within the classroom environment. Engagement with educators and other students is critical to you maximising learning opportunities and achieving satisfactory results. Participation in classroom discussion and activities will allow educators to apply observational assessment during role-plays, exercises and assignments and provide you with feedback.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Carvan, J., (2010)’Understanding the Australian Legal System,’ Thomson Reuters (Professional Australia Limited) Pyrmont NSW
Fox, R., (2010) "Victorian Criminal Procedure’ Monash University Printing, Melbourne


Class handouts
Victorian legislation and Parliamentary Documents (
Australasian Legal Information Institute (
Australian Institute of Criminology (
Magistrates Court (
Children’s Court (www.children’
Coroners Court (
Department of Justice (
Australian Constitutional Act 1900
Victorian legislation:
Crimes Act 1958
Criminal Procedure Act 2009
Magistrates Court Act 1989
Summary Offences Act 1966
Bail Act 1977
Sentencing Act 1991
Road Safety Act 1986
Victorian Civil and Administrative Act
Children, Youth and Families Act

Other Resources

Class handouts
Approved web sites for research material

Overview of Assessment

Assessments may incorporate a variety of methods including quizzes, case studies, observations, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, group/individual training workshops, audio-visual presentations, formative writing and exams.

 Formative Assessments (Ungraded fortnightly formative assessments)

Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate the application of knowledge and understanding of legal principles, processes and procedures relevant to working in the justice system through ungraded fortnightly formative assessments.  Students will receive immediate feedback after the formative assessments and remedial training as appropriate.

 Summative Assessments:

A research project on Natural Justice (Graded summative assessment)

Moot Court simulated exercise (Graded summative assessment)

Short answer questions on application of the law, function and processes of the legal system, powers and functions of law and subordinate authorities

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.


A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online:;ID=c15i3ciaq8ca 

Assessment Tasks

All assessment tasks are based on the requirements of the performance criteria, range statements and the assessment guidelines of the course.

  • Formative assessments 1, 2 and 3 will consist of short answer questions to exams on the performance criteria of the applicable elements. Students will have the opportunity to receive feedback and make adjustments/improvements to the areas they are not competent in as a form of ongoing monitoring of their progress
  • Summative assessment 1 (graded) will constitute 15% of the final grade. This assessment task comprises a practical application of correct procedures, protocols and etiquette for attendance/appearance at Victorian Courts consistent with job roles in the justice environment
  • Summative assessment 2 (graded) will constitute 40% of the final grade. This assessment comprises a written report on natural justice and the grounds for review of administrative decisions by government authorities and courts.
  • Summative assessment 3, (graded) will constitute 45% of the total mark. This assessment comprises short answer questions on the origins and the sources of State and Federal Law and their application, the function operation and jurisdiction of Victorian Courts and Tribunals.

Comprehensive assessment outlines will be issued and discussed with students in class/and or through Blackboard in Week 9 of the course

Assessment Matrix


The assessments have been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table which is as follows:

CHD=Competent with High Distinction
CDI=Competent with Distinction
CC=Competent with Credit
CAG=Competency Achieved - Graded
NYC=Not Yet Competent
DNS=Did not Submit for Assessment
Grades which apply to course delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment (not-graded)
CA=Competency Achieved
NYC=Not Yet Competent
DNS=Did Not Submit For Assessment

Other Information

All written work must adhere to the following criteria:

  1. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics
  2. It is expected that all submitted work will be well written, with clear and consistent grammar, expression and punctuation. It must be well structured and cogently address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical, ordered and organised manner
  3. The concepts must be well defined and demonstrate a critical analysis of the chosen topic
  4. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research
  5. In-text references must follow the APA style of referencing. In addition, you must provide a bibliography with correct and comprehensive details in relation to texts, articles, research reports and other sources that you have used
  6. Double or 1.5 spacing and a font size of 10-12 must be used in either Arial or Times Roman. Do not submit double paged assessments.

In accordance with RMIT policy, you may apply for an extension where there have been unexpected or extenuating circumstances, e.g.

  • Hospital admission, serious injury, severe asthma, severe anxiety or depression. This does not include minor illness such as a cold, period pain or hay fever.
  • Loss or bereavement – e.g. death of a close family member, family/relationship breakdown.
  • Hardship/trauma – e.g. victim of crime, sudden loss of income or employment, severe disruption to domestic arrangements.

You must keep a copy of their assessment until the graded submission has been returned or marks have been posted. All email communications will be sent to your RMIT student email address.

Applying for an Extension
Extension of time for assessment tasks may be granted where circumstances beyond your control prevent submission by the published due date. An application for extension of time must be lodged with your tutor or the course coordinator as early as possible, and no later than one working day before the due date for submission.

  • You can apply for extension using the University’s Extension Application Form – – or by emailing your course coordinator or tutor directly.
  • An extension of up to seven calendar days may be granted if good reason can be demonstrated. Include supporting evidence (such as medical certificates) with your application.
  • Extensions beyond seven calendar days cannot be granted by course coordinators, tutors or the School. To apply for an extension of time greater than seven calendar days you must lodge an application for Special Consideration.

Applying for Special Consideration

If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:

Penalties for Late Submission
If you have not been granted an extension or special consideration, late submission will be penalised as follows:
Assessment tasks submitted after the due date of submission shall receive a penalty of five per cent of the grades available for that assessment per day for each working day late.
No assessment task shall be accepted more than three weeks after the due date.

Assessment Appeals
If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:

  • You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,
  • You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,
  • You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).
  • Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site: 

Academic Integrity
Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source. If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:
The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing

Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.
Examples of plagiarism include:

  • Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
  • Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
  • Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
  • Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
  • Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
  • Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work; and
  • Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
  • Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.

For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 (unresolved) – and the RMIT Student Discipline Statute and Regulations -;ID=11jgnnjgg70y (unresolved)

Plagiarism Software
The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview