Course Title: Apply Investigative Processes in a Justice Environment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2010

Course Code: JUST5143

Course Title: Apply Investigative Processes in a Justice Environment

School: 365T Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6077 - Advanced Diploma of Justice

Course Contact : Georgy Dumas

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 99254203

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 75

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

  • Work in a Legal Environment

Course Description

This course covers the skills and knowledge required to examine and apply the Investigative Skills and procedures to conduct an investigation: to gather, record and present evidence in a court of law, together with an understanding of the witness’ responsibility and privacy and confidentiality issues.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBQU368 Apply Investigative Processes in a Justice Environment


01 Examine the role of an Investigator in a Criminal Jusrtice Environment

Performance Criteria:

1.1 The role of the investigator and the challenges confronting current investigations are identified.
1.2 The aims and process of investigations are identified.
1.3 An analysis is conducted on the legal boundaries and framework that governs investigative procedure and policies.


02 Investigate the Ethical Issues confronting an Investigator 

Performance Criteria:

2.1The role of ethics and the need for high levels of accountability in investigation is examined.
2.2 Ethical dilemmas confronting the investigator are examined.
2.3 Avenues available to the community relating to complaints against the investigator are investigated.
2.4 Legislation which regulates investigators is identified.
2.5 An analysis is conducted to identify the similarities and/or differences between government and non government investigators.


03 Evaluate the provisions relating to confidential information and Privacy legislation

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Legislation relating to access and dissemination of information is identified.
3.2 The provision relating to the exchange of information between organizations is examined.
3.3 State and Federal legislation which impact on the obtaining of information and gathering of intelligence is identified.
3.4 Current privacy legislation and provisions which impact on the duties of the investigator are analysed.


04 Identify and apply the processes used to gather and record Evidence are identified

Performance Criteria:

4.1 The legal process used to gather and record evidence is identified.
4.2 The different points of proof required to substantiate a criminal charge are investigated.
4.3 The laws relating to arrest, search and seizure by authorized officers are examined.
4.4 The legal requirements for a criminal brief are determined.
4.5 The process of taking comprehensive and legally admissible statements is applied within a criminal justice environment.


05 Analyse the processes and requirements of notetaking in Criminal and Civil hearings

Performance Criteria:

5.1 The role and process of notetaking for authorised officers is identified.
5.2 The admissibility of notes in Criminal and Civil hearings is identified.
5.3 The legal requirements for the formation of a witness statement, which is admissible in court, is investigated.
5.4 The rules for taking and recording witness statements are outlined.
5.5 A witness statement which would be admissible in court is constructed.
5.6 The role of a jurat in statements is clarified.


06 Identify and apply the porcesses, methodology and legal obligations in conducting interviews

Performance Criteria:

6.1 The legal obligations in conducting interviews are identified.
6.2 The interview protocols and procedures are identified.
6.3 The need for an interview plan is clarified.
6.4 The methods require to record interviews are outlined.
6.5 Interviews are planned and conducted.


07 Identify and implement the procedures, duties and  legal and ethical responsibilities of persons and parties involved in Criminal or Civil Court hearings

Performance Criteria:

7.1 The functions and responsibilities of persons and parties involved in a criminal hearing and a civil proceeding are identified.
7.2 The methods of arraignment for a defendant to appear before a court of law are outlined.
7.3 The three stages of evidence that a witness can give in a court of law are identified.
7.4 The legal and ethical responsibilities of a witness in civil and criminal proceedings are examined.
7.5 The sequence of hearing and contested, non-contested and ex-parte hearing in a court of law is clarified.
7.6 A Coroner’s inquest, the mention Court System and Committal Court procedure is outlined.
7.7 The legal requirement for a “Voir Dire” hearing in a court of law is identified.
7.8 The Oath and Affirmation legislation required to be administered before a witness can give evidence in a court of law is identified.
7.9 Appeals, orders to review and rehearing decisions of matters heard and determined in a court of law are investigated.
7.10 Pre-court and in-court procedures for witnesses are identified.
7.11 A moot court which includes the application of evidential, ethical and statutory law requirements is prepared and conducted.

Learning Outcomes

  • See elements

Details of Learning Activities

Students will be expected to actively participate in classroom discussion and case studies.
There will be regular "progress tests" to ensure the student is ready to progress to the next topical concept.
Students are required to attend a compulsory "CSI" camp where they will apply the knowledge constructed in the classroom to one or more ‘crimes scenes.’ Students will also: develop an informant’s statement and participate as either a magistrate, clerk of courts, prosecutor, defence counsel or witness in a court room setting.

Teaching Schedule

Week One: The role of investigator (government and private) will be explored in relation to legislated powers and limitations.
Week Two: The aims and process of investigation within a criminal justice context will be explored
Week Three: We will analyze what the boundaries and limitations of investigative processes are in relation to statue and common law.
Week Four: This week we will explore the ethical considerations which must be applied when conducting investigations.
Week Five: We will explore the procedures and rights by which all persons making complaints about the conduct of an investigator and an investigation are applied.
Week Six: We will look at the legislative and organizational issues which determine what information, to whom and under what circumstances, can either be disseminated or shared.
Week Seven: This week we will examine what the powers of arrest, search and seizure are and under what circumstances they may be lawfully executed.
Week Eight: We will analyze what legal points of proof are required before a formal charge can be laid and presented in a court of law.
Week Nine: We will examine what the legal requirements are and the process which must be followed in the construction of a Brief of Evidence.
Week Ten: We will look at "best practice" and legal requirements for the taking of notes and their use as a basis for an information or witness statement is developed.
Week Eleven: We will look at the rules of evidence and admissibility of notes in a court of law; the protocols and the process.
Week Twelve: We will look at the process for the formal arraignment and presentation of an accused person to the court.
Week Thirteen: We will look at the Oath or Affirmation for swearing in of a witness, its legal obligations and consequences.
Week Fourteen: We will explore the differences between a contested and non-contested mention, committal hearing and ex-parte hearing.
Week Fifteen: We will explore the process of a "Voire Dire" and the three stages of evidence giving by a witness.
Week Sixteen: We will look at the appellate process, reviews and re-hearing processes and their consequences for case preparation.
Week Seventeen: Students will be at CSI camp and applying their knowledge in a Moot court setting.
Week Eighteen: Teacher review and support for completion of a brief of evidence to be submitted as the major assessable task.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Victorian Legal Procedure by Richard Fox  Monash University Press


Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course will include:

  • Weekly "challenge" tests to ensure understanding of underpinning legislative and procedural requirements to Industry standards
  • Progressive development of the elements  of a Brief of Evidence to Industry standards
  • Examination
  • Completion of a comprehensive Brief of Evidence to a standard for submission and presentation in a Court of Law

Assessment Tasks

1. Active participation in weekly case studies and reviews.
2. Compulsory attendance at the investigation CSI camp.
3. Regular progress tests to ensure students are coping and competent with knowledge and skills
4. The construction of a brief of evidence

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview