Course Title: Apply foundation legal principles

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

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

Georgy Dumas, Senior Educator
P: 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 in class. Your in class activities will incorporate simulated workplace scenarios, practical demonstrations and student-led group discussions that focus on problem-solving and knowledge building skills relevant to identifying  and responding to applications of law. You will exemplify your contextualising of class topics, and validate your learning with in class participation and integrated synthesised activities that will be supported by extended topic research, readings and case studies.

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

NOTE: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.
Attendance -
It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.
We expect that students engage in learning through a combination of lectures, individual reading and study, meaningful feedback on written work and structured activities that encourage critical thinking and the development of discipline specific knowledge and practical skills.
Students are active participants and this course prioritises learning by doing. It is essential that students take ownership of their studies and work on developing skills as independent learners in time allocated away from lectures and class time.
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.
You will be required to sign an attendance sheet and if you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to advise your educator and complete any written tasks that may have been allocated. 
Students are required to carefully plan and use their time productively and submit assessments as required. All assessments tasks should be researched and drafted well in advance of the set submission dates.
The course will use blended learning techniques, including; lectures, discussions, activities in class and learner directed activities supported by a range of resources available in class and on Blackboard system
Feedback - You will receive verbal and written feedback on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects. Student feedback at RMIT
Student Progress -
 Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy

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


All required readings and case studies will be available either:
Via My RMIT/Studies Blackboard
Handed out in class as a hard copy
Accessible by CD/DVD
Via the internet/assigned website
Accessible via the RMIT Library

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 throughout the course

Assessment Matrix

Assessment Grading Table
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

Assessment Deadlines
Any due date for any assignment is to be considered a deadline. You can submit work at any time prior to the submission date; it must be submitted into the Assessment Box on level 2, in Building 37 with a signed cover sheet, or electronically submitted into the Justice VET email box with an electronically attached cover sheet, by close of business on the day the submission is due.

Assessment Format
A major part of your course requires writing, for essays, research and reports. ALL Justice VE educators will expect you to maintain a high standard of presentation in your writing. These standards include the following:

1. For a CERTIFICATE IV written assessment task/s – no less than 1500 words, 3 academic references and ONE in-text citation per paragraph.
2. A paragraph is usually between 200 – 250 words.
3. A sentence is usually between 20 - 25 words.
4. American Psychological Association (APA) Referencing Style is the EXPECTED referencing style for the school of Criminal Justice (VE).
5. We highly recommend that all students download a copy of the APA Referencing Guide which is available on the Blackboard or purchase a Pocket Guide to APA style from the campus bookshop.
6. APA Referencing system is to be used and all in-text citations must be recorded according to APA standards.
7. An academic reference is a scholarly source (journal articles that are peer reviewed, a published book, an approved government or organisation website etc).
8. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics
9. 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 address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical ordered and organised manner.
10. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research.
11. 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.
12. All assignments to be submitted via the Drop Box (Building 37, level 2) and submitted via email to the Advanced Diploma email address to verify submission ( Assessments must be submitted by 5pm (close of business).
13. Written assessments will also be submitted with a Turnitin Report attached (as instructed by your Educator).

If you have any difficult with understanding or completing these writing standards, please speak with your Educator or the Program Manager.

Other Information

Please refer to RMIT student page for extensive information for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by a due date, you will need to apply for an extension. Special consideration, appeals and discipline.

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 your 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.

An extension 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 or individual educators.

Longer extensions

Extension of time longer than 7 days can only be granted through special consideration.

Other Information Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

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 of assignments 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.

Cover Sheet for Submissions
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.

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 and Plagiarism - RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy go to 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 – and the RMIT Student Discipline Statute and Regulations -;ID=11jgnnjgg70y

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

Course Overview: Access Course Overview