LAW 7067 - International Criminal Law (PG)

North Terrace Campus - Quadmester 2 - 2016

This course examines the general principles of international criminal law as well as the fundamentals of international criminal procedure, providing a practical and theoretical framework for the rules, concepts and legal constructs key to the subject.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7067
    Course International Criminal Law (PG)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Quadmester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Interim assignment (case note) - 40% and Final assignment (research essay or written submissions) - 60%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Dale Stephens

    Associate Professor Dale Stephens CSM (Course Coordinator)
    Room 2.17, Ligertwood Building
    Phone: 08 8313 5937

    Dr Cassandra Steer
    Executive Director, McGill Institute of
    Air and Space Law

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from the Course Planner at:

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    International Criminal Law deals with individual criminal liability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide or aggression.  It also deals with jurisdictional issues of prosecuting these crimes in international tribunals, procedural rights of the accused, and sometimes rights of victims.

    This course aims to enable students:

    1.  To understand the history of International Criminal Law;

    2.  To understand the different types of tribunals;

    3.  To be able to identify some elements of the common law traditions and some elements of the civil law tradition in the substantive and procedural aspects of International Criminal Law;     

    4.  To be able to identify the elements of the core crimes recognised under International Criminal Law; with particular reference to War Crimes;

    5.  To understand the main modes of liability recognised for collective crimes and be able to apply these to fact patterns; 

    6.  To develop a critical understanding of the tension between the rights of victims, the rights of defendants and the multiple aspirations of the international criminal justice system;

    7.  To be able to compare the roles of various actors in the international criminal justice system with actors in domestic criminal justice systems;

    8.  To develop effective skills, both orally and in writing, in the construction of legal argument and analysis on various issues of International Criminal Law;

    9.  To undertake self-directed international legal research at a high level, including through the use of online technologies.

    10. To critically analyse the nature of International Criminal Law as a system of criminal law that draws from domestic notions but operates as a sui generis system.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    No required textbook. Students should consult with MyUni to access relevant materials that will be placed there.

    Recommended Resources
    Robert Cryer at. al. (ed.s) “An Introduction to International Criminal Law and Procedure” 2nd ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used to post announcements, additional lecture materials (including slides, and where available, recordings of lectures) and announce assignment tasks. It will also contain electronic copies of the Course Profile and Course Materials.

    Students are expected to check MyUni regularly to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources throughout the course.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Classes in this course will be held on Monday - Friday from 10:00am to 4:00pm each day. There will be an hour’s break for lunch, and a shorter break each morning and afternoon


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Attending all seminars (unless otherwise excused), have read mandatory reading before class, prepared to contribute to class discussion.

    Learning Activities Summary

    Day 1: Welcome and Introduction; Contextualising ICL; Creating institutions and history of ICL; jurisdiction and immunities; Competing paradigms (human rights, criminal law, transitional justice)

    Day 2: The core crimes - genocide; war crimes; crimes against humanity; aggression

    Day 3: The accused - modes of liability; defences; evidence and fact-finding.

    Day 4: The process - adversarial versus inquisitorial approaches; victim participation; gender crimes; critiques of ICL.

    Day 5: Debate; terrorism and transnational crimes; ICL as sui generis; final reflections

    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no additional requirements for this course.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Item % of Final Mark Due Date
    Class Participation 10% NA
    Moot Team group work
    (oral presentations and short paper of 1200 words)
    30% 26 April 2016
    Assignment (3,000 words) 60% TBA

    Please Note: All written work in the Law school is required to comply with The Australian Guide to Legal Citation available at

    The class comprises law and non-law graduates. Although the assessment tasks are the same for all students in the course, students will be assessed according to whether they are law or non-law graduates respectively. This will be done by taking into account the extent to which some aspects of the task involve the exercise of skills that law graduates can be expected to have practiced or refined over a longer period or to a greater degree than their non-law counterparts, and therefore a higher standard of performance may legitimately be expected from the law graduates in the course.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Written assignments must be typed on double-spaced A4 paper with a 10 or 12 point font such as Arial or Times New Roman, and should be printed double-sided where possible, for environmental reasons. The quality of English expression is considered to be integral part of the assessment process. Marks may be deducted in any class test because of poor hand-writing, and marks may be deducted in any written assessment because of spelling, grammar and presentation.

    Assessment Detail
    ‘Class participation accounts for 10% of the overall grade. The course will spend considerable time addressing technical legal issues of international criminal law, but will also promote critical thinking regarding the ways in which this field of law develops and the actors involved. Students will be encouraged to compare what they know from domestic criminal law institutions and notions, and to critically discuss the different approaches evident in the international criminal justice system. They will also be encouraged to consider broader social, ethical, political and moral issues attached to the international criminal justice project as a whole. There will also be an oral exercise on the final day, for which the class will be split into two groups to debate a topic which incorporates many issues covered in the course. This will make up part of the class participation grade.

    Students will also be asked to write a short paper of 1200 words, worth 30%.  This paper should discuss one of the cases discussed in class.

    The majority of the course grade will come from a 3000 word essay (long paper), worth 60%. While students will be free to design any relevant (and approved) topic they would like, selected possible topics will be presented cumulatively through the course for consideration and must be finalised by the last day of the course. Such developed topics/questions will follow the threads of discussion that have been led during the course.’
    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All assignments in this course are to be submitted electronically through By submitting your assignment electronically you are agreeing to the following:

    I declare that all material in this assessment is my own work except where there is clear acknowledgement and reference to the work of others. I have read the Policy on Cheating in Examinations and Related Forms of Assessment. I have also read the University's Plagiarism Policy.

    Details for electronic submission through Turnitin will be provided with the assignment instructions.

    All written work in the Law school is required to comply with the approved Law School style guide, The Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

    Requests for extensions must be made via email to the course coordinator.

    Extensions will be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship or on compassionate grounds in accordance with University Policy. Work commitments, travel, holidays or sporting engagements are not unexpected circumstances.

    1. Late Submission: Submission penalties of 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is one hour late, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 25 hours late, etc.

    2. Word Length: Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word length or page limit) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks possible per 100 words or part thereof (ie with a word limit of 3,000, an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 3001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 3101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.

    Turnaround time:
    The interim assignment for this course will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the submission date. Group feedback, together with written, individual feedback will be provided, from which students can learn from in the final assignment. The final assignment will be returned to students within 4 weeks of the submission date with written individual feedback. Students will be notified by email when assignments are ready for collection from the Law School Front Office.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    Practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at  

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro and . Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.