Course Title: Principles of Criminal Law and Procedure

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Principles of Criminal Law and Procedure

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


660H Graduate School of Business and Law


Sem 1 2021,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 2 2023,
Sem 1 2024

Course Coordinator: Timnah Baker

Course Coordinator Phone: -

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 13

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed Knowledge: Becoming a Lawyer in a Globalised World

Course Description

Criminal laws are central to the way societies regulate behaviour. They reflect the values of the society, and they are often the subject of political debate and law reform.  In this course you will learn about fundamental principles of criminal law and criminal procedure in Australia. You will examine a range of common law and statutory offences such as homicide, assault, sexual offences, property offences; the law of attempts and complicity in crime; and criminal defences. You will also examine procedural aspects of the criminal law such as police powers of investigation and arrest, bail, trial and sentencing.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


Upon successful completion of this course, you will:

CLO1: Critique the broad theoretical basis of the criminal law and procedure and its wider contexts.

CLO2: Demonstrate understanding of the nature and sources of criminal law; the procedural consequences of breach; and the substantive consequences of breach.

CLO3: Apply the elements of a representative range of criminal offences and make reasoned choices amongst alternatives.

CLO4: Critique how liability for particular offences can be established.

CLO5: Evaluate the role and availability of defences and excuses; and explain how a range of defences and excuses may be established.

CLO6: Critique the role of the state and the courts in enforcing criminal law; and in determining how a range of criminal procedures are applied.

Overview of Learning Activities

To achieve the objectives this course requires you to participate in various learning activities. These activities comprise of lectures, tutorials, self-directed learning, participation through in-class and online activities, legal writing exercises, collaborating with peers on set tasks or projects, engaging in legal research by traditional means but also using electronic legal databases and internet searching and a final examination.

Overview of Learning Resources

Various learning resources are available online through MyRMIT Studies\Canvas. The lecture notes and workshop notes are posted on Canvas.

Resources are also available online through RMIT Library databases and other facilities. Visit the RMIT library website for further details. Assistance is available online via our chat and email services, face to face at our campus libraries or via the telephone on (03) 9925 2020.

Additional resources and/or sources to assist your learning will be identified by your course coordinator and will be made available to you as required during the teaching period.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment tasks, their weighting and the course learning outcomes to which they are aligned are as follows:

Assessment Task 1: 20%
Linked CLOs: 2, 3, 4

Assessment Task 2: 30%
Linked CLOs: 1, 2, 4, 6

Assessment Task 3: 50%
Linked CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or in online forums through individual and group feedback on practical exercises and by individual consultation.