Course Title: Apply investigative processes within justice environments

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

Course Code: JUST5710

Course Title: Apply investigative processes within justice environments

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6124 - Advanced Diploma of 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
Ph: 9925

Nominal Hours: 80

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

Successful completion of, or demonstrated equivalence to, the following units of competency:

VU20861 Apply criminal law within justice environments
VU20862 Work with family violence contexts within justice environments
VU20863 Work with culturally diverse clients within justice environments
VU20864 Work with conflict resolution and mediation processes within justice environments
VU20865 Apply management and leadership within justice environments

And ONE of the following electives:

LGACOM406A Investigate alleged breaches of legislation and prepare documentation
CHCAOD402B Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector

Course Description

In this course you will develop the skills and knowledge required to apply appropriate and relevant investigative skills and procedure to conduct investigations, gather, record, assess and present evidence in a court of competent jurisdiction.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20852 Apply investigative processes within justice environments


1. Identify and apply responsibilities and legal obligations of investigative role within justice contexts

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Role, principles and responsibilities of an investigator in a justice environment are analysed
1.2 Legal boundaries and operational requirements of a criminal investigation are delineated and applied
1.3 Laws relating to obtaining information and the methods of gathering evidence are analysed and applied


2. Identify and apply evidence procedures

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Legal requirements and procedures at crime/events scenes are identified and applied
2.2 Physical and forensic evidence and their requirements are identified, collected, recorded, assessed and prepared for court
2.3 Legal requirements of comprehensive statement taking, note taking and conducting and recording an interview are identified, examined and applied
2.4 Law relating to admissibility of evidence is examined and applied and a brief of evidence that complies with current legal requirements is developed and presented


3. Investigate and apply the legal process of presenting a case for prosecution

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Methods used to bring a person before a court of competent jurisdiction are examined and applied
3.2 Court procedure involved in a hearing are analysed and applied
3.3 Function and responsibilities, including ethical duties, of persons and parties involved in criminal hearing are identified
3.4 Moot court is conducted, in consultation with relevant people, to check and evaluate determined skills, knowledge, attitudes and functions required for presenting prepared case for prosecution
3.5 Lessons learned are used to inform final preparation of case for prosecution


4. Apply sentencing principles to presenting a plea

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Five sentencing principles are critically analysed
4.2 Matters in mitigation are applied to a plea
4.3 Plea is developed, based on relevant sentencing principles and matters in mitigation, and evaluated in consultation with relevant people

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, you will be able to:
• Apply legal, ethical and operational requirements to investigate, gather evidence and prepare a case for prosecution within the Victorian criminal justice system
• Apply legal, ethical and operational requirements to prepare a plea within the Victorian criminal justice system
• Provide the evidence of knowledge of Victorian judicial, ethical and legal requirements of evidence gathering, recording, assessment of physical evidence and interviewing, including taking of notes and statements
• Provide the evidence of knowledge of Victorian judicial, ethical and legal requirements of criminal court procedures, preparation of prosecution cases and pleas
• Provide the evidence of knowledge of Victorian judicial, ethical and legal requirements of sentencing in Victoria

Details of Learning Activities

You will participate in a variety of learning activities. They include the following:
class activities:
• Lectures
• Observations
• Demonstrations
• Presentations
• Class discussions
• Oral and written questioning
• Incursion/guest speakers

Out of class activities:
• Readings/Research activities
• Case studies
• Observations
• Excursions /Crime Scene Investigation Camp and Moot Court
• Knowledge-based tests/questionnaires

Teaching Schedule

Week One:
Introduction to course and expectation of learning outcomes.
Course guides issued and discussed with students
Briefing on Crime Scene Investigation and Moot Court camp to be held on Week 16
Pre-test and feedback to students
Role, responsibilities and attributes of an Investigator

Week Two:
Planning an investigation and the contingencies of investigations
Risk management
Principles and types of investigations
Responsibilities in an investigation
Operational requirements
Principles and types of investigations

Week Three:
Laws relating to investigations
Criminal procedural law
Legal boundaries of an investigation
Formative assessment 1

Week Four:
Australian Government Investigation Standards discussed
Law relating to obtaining information
Introduction to Brief of Evidence
Issue of instructions of final assessment tasks and discussion of criteria.

Week Five:
Investigation techniques
Professional ethics in investigation
Formative assessment 2

Week Six:
“What is evidence?”
Types of evidence
Evidence and corroboration
Rules of evidence
Admissibility of evidence

Week Seven:
Methods of gathering evidence – questioning, search and seizure, eye witnesses
Scientific/forensic and others
Ethical requirements when gathering evidence
Protection of human rights during investigation
Formative assessment 3

Week Eight:
Statement taking
Contemporaneous notes taking
Confessional statements and admissions
Practice statements/notes taking

Week Nine:
Questioning persons
Right to remain silent and right to question
Conducting and recording an interview
Formative assessment 4

Week Ten:
Practical exercises for gathering evidence

Week Eleven:
Physical evidence and its requirements
Fingerprint procedures
Forensic evidence and its requirements
Forensic procedures

Week Twelve:
Arrest search and seizure
Charge sheets, filing of charge sheets, summons and related judicial documentation
Ongoing workshop on preparation of Brief of Evidence

Week Thirteen:
Methods used to bring person/s to Court
Jurisdiction of Courts
Hearing and appeals
Functions, responsibilities and ethical duties of parties at Court
Formative assessment 5

Week Fourteen:
Format for giving evidence
Stages of evidence
Psychology of witnesses
Introduction to pleas

Week Fifteen:
Introduction to crime scenes/events
Crime scene legal requirements
Crime scene procedures
Crime Scene Investigation and Moot Court Camp briefing
Formative assessment 6

Week Sixteen:
Crime Scene Investigation and Moot Court Practical conducted at Crime Scene Camp as outlined to students in briefing in Week One.
Summative assessment in crime scene investigation and giving evidence in Court

Week Seventeen: Workshop and discussion of final draft of Brief of Evidence
Sentencing Principles
Matters in mitigation applying to pleas

Week Eighteen: Revision and final written summative 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.
Attendance in this VET Justice Course is to help you develop a self-directed, professional attitude and to maximize your educational vocational opportunities and practical skills. Regular class attendance provides fundamental educational value and offers the most effective means for you to gain knowledge and skills of the concepts of the justice environment. Lack of regular attendance and participation may compromise your performance in the course and achieving the final outcome.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

• Corns, C. & Tudor, S., (2009) ‘Criminal Investigation and Procedure The Law in Victoria’ Thomson Reuters (Professional) Australia Limited Pyrmont NSW
• Nash, G., (2013) ‘Annotated Criminal Legislation Victoria’ Lexis Nexus, Butterworths, Australia


• 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 (

• Victorian legislation:
o Crimes Act 1958
o Criminal Procedure Act 2009
o Magistrates Court Act 1989
o Summary Offences Act 1966
o Bail Act 1977
o Sentencing Act 1991
o Road Safety Act 1986
o Children, Youth and Families Act

Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessments may incorporate a variety of methods including lecturers, tutorials, role-plays, practical exercises, case studies, observations, audio visual presentations, excursions, camp activities and interaction with individuals and groups in class and within the justice system.

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 to 6 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 20% of the total grade. This assessment task comprises a practical application of a crime scene investigation, evidence gathering and presenting a prepared case for prosecution.

Summative assessment 2 (graded) will constitute 40% of the total grade. This assessment task comprises short answer questions relating to the responsibilities and legal obligations in an investigative process by applying evidence procedure and legal processes within the justice environments.

Summative assessment 3 (graded) will constitute 40% of the final grade. This assessment comprises the development and submission of a Brief of Evidence that complies with admissibility of evidence and current legal requirements.

Comprehensive assessment outlines will be issued and discussed with students in class/and or through Blackboard in Week Four 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 – 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