Course Title: Apply Investigative Processes in a Justice Environment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2012

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 Justice 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:

2.1 The 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


03 Evaluate the provisions relating to confidential information and Privacy legislation

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Legislation relating to access and dissemination of information is
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
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
5.2 The admissibility of notes in Criminal and Civil hearings is
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
5.5 A witness statement which would be admissible in court is
5.6 The role of a jurat in statements is clarified.


06 Identify and apply the processes, 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
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

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) within legislated powers and limitations.
Week Two: The aims and process of investigation within a criminal justice context
Week Three: Boundaries and limitations of investigative processes, in relation to statue and common law.
Week Four: Ethics when conducting investigations.
Week Five: Procedures and rights re: complaints about the conduct of an investigator and an investigation.
Week Six: Legislative and organizational issues with information dissemination.
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: Legal points of proof in a court of law.
Week Nine: Legal requirements in the construction of a Brief of Evidence.
Week Ten: "Best practice" and legal requirements for witness statement.
Week Eleven: Rules of evidence and admissibility of notes in a court of law; the protocols and the process.
Week Twelve: Process for the formal arraignment and presentation of an accused person to the court.
Week Thirteen: Oath or Affirmation for swearing in of a witness, its legal obligations and consequences.
Week Fourteen: Differences between a contested and non-contested mention, committal hearing and ex-parte hearing.
Week Fifteen: Process of a "Voire Dire" and the three stages of evidence given by a witness.
Week Sixteen: Appellate process, reviews and re-hearing processes and consequences for case preparation.
Week Seventeen: Crime camp
Week Eighteen: Review and submisson of Brief of evidence


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Victorian Legal Procedure by Richard Fox  Monash University Press


Other Resources

Learning Resources
The University Library provides extensive services, facilities and study space as well as comprehensive collections of books, periodicals and other course related materials, such as DVD’s, magazines, slides, films etc. Computer laboratories with access to a wide range of desktop publishing software are also available. The library also has an expanding virtual collection of electronic resources and networks, including product data, e-books, electronic journals and newspapers, web based tutorials, online reference and document delivery services etc., all of which are accessible on campus, and off campus 24 hours per day. More information on library resources and services can be found at: 

The Study and Learning Centre provides free learning and academic development advice to all RMIT students. For information on their services and support, please visit the website

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

The assessment has been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table 7 which is as follows:
HD 80-100
DI 70-79
CR 60-69
PA 50-59
NN 0-49

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 font style Aerial or Times New Roman.

Other Information

Extensions will not be granted by teachers or Administrative staff.

In accordance with RMIT policy, students 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.
Students 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