Course Title: Apply investigative processes within justice environments

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 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
P: 9925 4203

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

Course Overview: Access Course Overview