Criminal Law & Justice

Subject LAWS40037 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

1 x 2-hour seminar per week or intensively over 5 days.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours.
Total Time Commitment:

144 hours.


Legal Method and Reasoning; Principles of Public Law; Torts; Legal Theory; Criminal Law and Procedure; or in each case their equivalents.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills, and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to providing support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Peter Rush


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475

Subject Overview:

This subject provides students with an opportunity to study in depth current topics of criminal law in the Australian criminal justice systems. Specific topics will vary from year to year and students will be able to select research topics from across the full range of criminal law doctrines, institutions and theories. The topics will also be chosen from specific doctrines (eg intoxication, dangerousness, complicity), specific crimes (eg stalking, sexual assault, genocide, torture), specific institutions (eg specialist courts such as koori courts and drug courts; eg the international criminal court), and specific traditions and styles of criminal jurisprudence (eg common law; eg legislative).


The subject has two main aims:

  1. To deepen and advance students' understanding of the authority, institutions and values of contemporary criminal law;
  2. To provide students with the opportunity to undertake and present a substantial piece of legal research.
  • 5,000 word research essay (100%);
  • 100 word topic proposal for approval (hurdle).

Prescribed Texts:

Printed materials will be available from the Melbourne Law School.

Recommended Texts:

Students will be advised to consult the following two texts when beginning their research on specific topics:

  • Simon Bronitt and Bernadette McSherry, Principles of Criminal Law (latest edition);
  • Brown et al, Criminal Laws (latest edition).
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • The capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection;
  • The capacity to communicate, both orally and in writing;
  • The capacity for close reading and analysis of a range of texts;
  • The ability to develop a research topic;
  • The capacity to plan and manage time;
  • Attitudes towards knowledge that include valuing truth, openness to new ideas and ethics associated with knowledge creation and usage;
  • Intercultural sensitivity and understanding.

The essay in this subject is regarded as a substantial piece of legal writing for honours purposes.

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