Corporate and White Collar Criminal Law

Subject LAWS70385 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

November, 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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Phone: +61 3 8344 6190

Subject Overview:

Corporate and white collar crimes differ from the popular conception of ‘crime’ as involving the most unambiguously blameworthy sorts of conduct in which citizens can engage. This subject will examine how these crimes are dealt with under Australian rules on criminal responsibility, procedure, proof and punishment, notably under the federal Criminal Code. It will also address, from a comparative perspective (including both Australian state systems and relevant overseas ones), the underlying legal, moral and policy concerns that distinguish white collar crime from ‘merely aggressive business behaviour.’ Offences used as examples of these rules and concerns may include fraud, insider trading, bribery, tax evasion, and various intellectual property and regulatory offences. The subject will be of interest to government lawyers, corporate counsel and litigators – anyone who is interested in the often blurry lines that distinguish criminal from non-criminal behaviour.

Principal topics will include:

  • The concept of white collar crime
  • Corporate criminality and individual liability in an organisational setting
  • Processes, proof and sentencing for corporate and white collar crime
  • Examinations of particular offences in the context of one or more of the above topics

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Understand the general legal principles that govern the ascription of criminal liability to corporations and other legal entities and to individuals in an organizational setting.
  • Have a knowledge of how key white collar offenses such as fraud, perjury, false statements, obstruction of justice, bribery, insider trading, tax evasion, and various intellectual property and regulatory offenses are defined both within and across several jurisdictions.
  • Appreciate the difference between such white collar offenses and corresponding non-criminal conduct such as so-called puffing and sharp dealing, wiliness on the witness stand, zealous advocacy, campaign contributions, savvy investing, tax avoidance, and hard bargaining.


Take-home examination (100%) (17–20 January 2014)
10,000 word research paper (100%) (19 February 2014 ) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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