Faculty of Law

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Trimester 1 2013 (Day)
City (Melbourne) Trimester 2 2013 (Day)
City (Melbourne) Trimester 3 2013 (Day)



This unit gives students an understanding of the fundamental principles of criminal law and procedure and of the policies underlying them. The focus will be on the principles and doctrines of criminal law but students will also examine substantive State and Federal offences, such as homicide, non-fatal offences against the person, sexual offences, property offences and relevant defences and aspects of criminal procedure. The unit will satisfy the requirements of the Council of Legal Education for admission to practice.


On completion of this Unit students should be able to demonstrate:

  1. an understanding of the elements of the major substantive offence categories of non fatal offences against the person, homicide, attempts, parties to crime, offences against property and strict liability offences, together with defences to crime;
  2. a basic understanding of the structure of the criminal justice system in Victoria and the role and discretion of the police, prosecutors, defence counsel, magistrates, judges and juries in relation to the processes of the criminal law;
    1. an appreciation of the historical, political and social context of the criminal law;
    2. an ability to critically examine both the general principles of criminal liability and the use of the criminal law as a method of social control; and
    3. an informed perspective about the many legal, social, political and moral issues raised in the criminal law area; and
  3. the analytical and interpretative skills necessary for giving advice in relation to criminal law problems.


Memorandum of Advice requiring students to provide detailed advice on issues of criminal law and procedure: 30%
Final examination: 70%

Chief examiner(s)

Assoc Prof Bronwyn Naylor (Trimester 1)
Mr Michael Fitzgerald (Trimester 2)
Mr Michael Fitzgerald (Trimester 3)

Contact hours

30 hours of seminar plus 6 hours of tutorials (intensive, semi-intensive or semester/trimester long, depending on the faculty resources, timetabling and requirements).