Course Title: Analyse and evaluate concepts and principles of criminal law

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2016

Course Code: LAW5722

Course Title: Analyse and evaluate concepts and principles of criminal law

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6141 - Advanced Diploma of Legal Practice

Course Contact: Robert Sheen

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5759

Course Contact Email: robert.sheen@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Doug Cole

doug.cole@rmit.edu.au

9925 5424

 

Karen Ward (Sessional Teacher)

Karen.ward@rmit.edu.au

80.05.018

80.05.018

Nominal Hours: 50

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

None

Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to employ legal principles and aspects of criminal law, including criminal procedure, substantive aspects of criminal offences as defined in legislation and at common law, and, to evaluate the impact of law reform issues, in order to support the work of a legal office or associated context.

This unit supports the work of personnel engaged in the operation of a legal office, legal aid provider, government department or associated justice contexts within public and/or corporate sectors.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21641 Analyse and evaluate concepts and principles of criminal law

Element:

1.Analyse the concept of crime and assess the purposes of criminal law within society

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Research, discuss and define the concept of crime
1.2 Research, compare and contrast the sources of criminal law
1.3 Analyse the concepts of mens rea and actus reus
1.4 Identify and describe the particular purposes of criminal law, with reference to retribution, deterrence, reformation and rehabilitation, and certainty

Element:

2.Outline and apply the pre-trial and trial procedures in a criminal matter and discuss the possible penalties for a criminal offence

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Identify and describe the preliminary and trial procedures in Victoria with particular reference to:
• summary offences, indictable offences and indictable offences triable summarily
• the Victorian court hierarchy in the criminal justice system
• the mention system
• the committal process
• arraignment
• the procedure in relation to a jury trial
• the procedure in the Magistrates' Court following a not guilty plea
2.2 Define the concept of bail, the process of a bail application, and the conditions under which bail may be granted according to the Bail Act 1977 (Vic) and analyse for application
2.3 Identify and describe the sentencing procedures followed in the Victorian criminal justice system, with reference to:
• the sentencing hearing
• dismissals
• discharges
• adjournments
• offenders with an intellectual disability
• victim impact statements
2.4 Identify and discuss the various penalties available for particular criminal offences
2.5 Research and discuss the reforms to evidence and criminal procedure in Victoria, with reference to:
• Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic)
• Evidence Act 2008 (Vic)
2.6 Analyse the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic) with reference to criminal law issues.

Element:

3.Analyse and apply the key elements of the criminal offences of murder and manslaughter, and assess the available defences to such prosecutions

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Define and analyse the concept of homicide and analyse for application, making reference to:
• who may be the victim of homicide
• infanticide
• child destruction
• murder, manslaughter and culpable driving
• concealment of birth
• the meaning of death
3.2 Distinguish homicides which are defined in legislation from those defined at common law
3.3 Analyse and define the specific elements of the criminal offence of murder, including when the offence of murder is substantiated, and analyse for application
3.4 Analyse and define the specific elements of the criminal offence of manslaughter, including when an offence of manslaughter is substantiated, and analyse for application
3.5 Research current issues regarding homicide, including the controversy in relation to euthanasia, and discuss their impact
3.6 Research changes to abortion laws in Victoria, with reference to Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 (Vic), and analyse for application

Element:

4.Determine and apply the elements of offences against the person other than homicide

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Demonstrate the key elements of criminal assault and other offences involving violence, including when an offence is substantiated, and analyse for application
4.2 Research and discuss current issues in offences against the person, including domestic violence and assistance for victims of crime and stalking
4.3 Determine the key elements that comprise sexual offences, including when an offence is substantiated, and analyse for application
4.4 Research current issues regarding sexual offences, including inter alia sentencing practice for rape offences, jury direction in rape cases and refer to the sexual history of the complainant, and analyse for practice

Element:

5.Evaluate and apply the available defences to particular offences

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Identify and describe the concept of defensive homicide on a charge of murder and determine the circumstances under which defensive homicide is available as a defence
5.2 Define the concept of self-defence and determine the circumstances under which self-defence may be applied
5.3 Assess the defences of duress, marital coercion, sudden or extraordinary emergency, superior orders and necessity, with reference to availability, elements, particular issues in relation to the offence of murder, precedent, and Crimes (Homicide) Act 2005
5.4 Identify and describe the circumstances in which impaired or altered mental states may negate criminal responsibility

Element:

6.Analyse and apply the law relating to the types of participation in crime and attempts

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Analyse the culpability of the participants in a given crime, using relevant culpability case examples.
6.2 Analyse and assess the concept of attempt in criminal law, with reference to actus reus, voluntary desistance, mens rea, legal and factual impossibility and the statutory provisions

Element:

7.Analyse and apply the various elements to the criminal offence of theft, and discuss the available statutory defences

Performance Criteria:

7.1 Research and discuss the historical background to the law of theft, including larceny at common law and the reasons behind the introduction of the theft provisions of the Crimes Act
7.2 Analyse and discuss the terms property, belonging to another, and appropriates as stipulated by the Crimes Act
7.3 Describe the concept of intention of permanently depriving, as defined by the Crimes Act, with reference to the presumption in relation to motor vehicles and aircraft, and analyse for application
7.4 Define the concept of appropriation of property dishonestly, as defined by the Crimes Act, with reference to claim of right, consent, unknown owner and willingness to pay, and analyse for application
7.5 Analyse the applications of theft provisions to case study materials.

Element:

8.Determine and apply the elements of crimes of obtaining property as defined by the Crimes Act

Performance Criteria:

8.1 Outline the definitions of the criminal offences of obtaining property by deception and of obtaining a financial advantage by deception, as stipulated by S 81 and S 82 of the Crimes Act and apply to case study material
8.2 Analyse, for application, the criminal offences of robbery and armed robbery (S75 & S75A), burglary and aggravated burglary (S76 & S77) and blackmail (S87), as defined by the Crimes Act and apply to case study material

Element:

9.Analyse and apply the key elements required for strict and absolute liability offences

Performance Criteria:

9.1 Identify and explain the distinctions between mens rea offences, strict liability offences and offences of absolute liability and the criteria for making the distinctions
9.2 Research the rationale for offences of strict or absolute liability and relevant statutory provisions for creating them and analyse for application
9.3 Examine the operation of the defence of mistake in relation to strict liability offences, including the distinction between a mistake of fact and a mistake of law, and, the onus of proof in relation to mistake, and analyse for application
9.4 Analyse strict and absolute liability offences with reference to case study material.


Learning Outcomes



 


Details of Learning Activities

 

 

 


Teaching Schedule

Week No.

Date Week Begins

Topic:

Assessment tasks

1

July 4

The concept of crime, classification of crimes, aims of punishment, “actus reus” and “mens rea”, onus and standard of proof

 

2

July 11

Criminal procedure, sentencing, appeals, bail

 

3

July 18

The elements of murder

 

4

July 25

Defences to murder

 

5

August 1

Manslaughter and other unlawful killing

 

6

August 8

Assault and related offences

Short answer, multiple choice test (weighting 30%)

 7

August 15

Sexual offences

8

August 22

Theft

 

MID-SEMESTER BREAK:- August 29 – September 2 inclusive

9

September 5

Other property offences.

Pre-seen case study test (weighting 30%). Open book

10

September 12

Attempts, participants in crime

 

11

September 19

General defences

 

12

September 26

Mental impairment and related mental states

 

13

October 3

Mistake, offences of strict or absolute liability

Revision

 

14

October 10

Final Test

Final test (weighting 40%). Open book

15

October 17

Resubmission Final Test

Re-sit final test. Open book

16

October 24

Resubmission Feedback and assessment review

 

 

 

 

 

 


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


References


Other Resources

Recommended texts:-

  • Penny Crofts Criminal Law (Lexus Nexis Butterworths 5 ed. 2014)
  • Thalia, A. and others, Waller and Williams Criminal Law Text and Cases (Lexis Nexis Butterworths 12 ed.)

 


Overview of Assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

In order to demonstrate competency in this unit, you must provide evidence of:

• the ability to explain the concept of crime and criminal law in society
• knowledge of Criminal Law relating to criminal procedures, substantive aspects of criminal offences as defined in legislation, and law reforms
• investigating criminal procedures and the possible penalties for a criminal offence
• analysing elements of criminal offences of manslaughter and murder
• assessing the available defences to particular offences
• analysing the key elements required for strict and absolute liability offences
• knowledge of applications of relevant sections of the Crimes Act in a range of case study materials

Context for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

• activities are related to a legal practice context
• activities are related to laws, regulations and procedures currently operating across the jurisdictions relevant to this qualification

You are advised that you are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate your assessment work to your teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.
 

Feedback

Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions. You are encouraged to ask and answer questions during class time and online sessions so that you can obtain feedback on your understanding of the concepts and issues being discussed.

You should take note of all feedback received and use this information to improve your learning effectiveness and final performance in the course.

Finally, you can email or arrange an appointment with your teacher to gain more feedback on your progress.
 


Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1 - Short answer, multiple choice test (30%)

Assessment Task 2 - Pre-seen case study test. Open book (30%)

Assessment Task 3 - Final test.Open book (40%)


Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview