LAW 7164 - Criminal Law: Selected Issues

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 3 - 2018

Criminal law evolves constantly. It requires regular review to, for example, ensure the efficacy of laws; reflect changing community values; and cater for advances in technology. This course examines a selection of issues themed around criminal law reform. The course requires students to consider how the Australian criminal law (Federal and State) has responded to a range of topical issues; and assess whether existing reforms are justified (from both a philosophical and a pragmatic perspective). The specific list of issues to be explored will be set in June 2018 to ensure current issues can be discussed and evaluated.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 7164
    Course Criminal Law: Selected Issues
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Trimester 3
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites Students without a Bachelor of Laws must have completed LAW 7177
    Course Description Criminal law evolves constantly. It requires regular review to, for example, ensure the efficacy of laws; reflect changing community values; and cater for advances in technology. This course examines a selection of issues themed around criminal law reform.
    The course requires students to consider how the Australian criminal law (Federal and State) has responded to a range of topical issues; and assess whether existing reforms are justified (from both a philosophical and a pragmatic perspective).

    The specific list of issues to be explored will be set in June 2018 to ensure current issues can be discussed and evaluated.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr David Plater

    Criminal law evolves constantly. It requires regular review to, for example, ensure the effectiveness of the criminal laws; reflect changing community and social values and cater for rapid advances in technology. This course examines a selection of topical issues themed around criminal law reform. The course requires students to consider how the Australian criminal law (both federal and state) has responded to a range of topical issues; and assess whether existing reforms are justified (from both a philosophical and a practical perspective). The course will include comparison with international jurisdictions. The specific list of issues to be explored is to ensure current issues can be discussed and evaluated. This course will include professional legal roles, the proper role of the modern prosecutor, the modern role of victims, cybercrime such as 'revenge porn' and cyber abuse, trial by judge versus trial by jury, the right to a fair trial before an impartial jury in the age of social media and the internet, the situation of vulnerable parties in the criminal process, criminal law and discrimination and the role of the criminal law (looking at surrogacy as a case study).
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The course aims to develop in students a critical understanding of current problems and issues in criminal law making.

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Identify the fundamental principles and wider context which underpin the modern criminal law.

    2. Analyse critically and appraise new forms of criminal law and policy in light of this conext and fundamental principles. 

    3. Critically evaluate legal responses to a range of selected topical legal issues.

    4. Consider and criticially examine a topical issue in criminal law and the current law and/or policy in that area and formulate a considered position as to the preferable way forward to address that topical issue.  


    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)
    1,2,3,4
    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
    1,2,3,4
    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
    2,3,4
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2,3,4
    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
    1,2,3,4
    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
    2,3,4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no required textbook. The course has a significant online component. Several of the course lectures (about 30% of the course) and the supporting lecture slides and other material is available on course website. Students should consider these at their own time and pace. There are also detailed lecture slides and supporting material for the remaining lectures (about 70%) to be delivered in person the week 24-28 September 2018. Students will be notified of any other suggested readings. The course includes guest presenters.
    Recommended Resources
    The course has a significant online component. Several of the course lectures (about 30% of the course) and the supporting lecture slides and written material and other online resources are made available on course website. Students should consider these at their own time and pace (ideally before the first in person lecture).

    There are detailed lecture slides and supporting online resources for the 70% of lectures to be delivered in person.  

    Students are advised to consider various suggested articles and online resources available as part of course.
    Online Learning
    A Discussion Board will be created in MyUni to enable students enrolled in the course to communicate with one another. Students may use it to engage in general discussion about the themes of the course, or to post questions that they are hoping another student can answer. If a student has a question for one of the course teacher, the student should email that teacher directly.
    The necessary resources and links to supporting sources will be made available on the course online site.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course has a significant online component.

    Several of the course lectures (about 30% of the course) and the supporting lecture slides and written material and other online resources are made available on course website. Students should consider these at their own time and pace.

    There are also detailed lecture slides and supporting online and other material on the course website for the remaining lectures (about 70%) to be delivered in person. Students should also consider these at their own time and pace.

    Students will be notified of any other suggested readings or resources.
    The course will include guest lectures by lawyers in criminal practice, judges and others.

    There is often no right or wrong answer to the topical criminal law issues covered within the course. We will look at both Australian and international law and experience. You will appreciate the criminal law is often be a blunt and incomplete instrument to deal with often complex issues.

    Students are encouraged to engage with the course material, think critically and come to their own reasoning and conclusions.
    Workload

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

    The University expects full-time students (ie those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week.

    To successfully pass your courses, you will need to allocate an appropriate time commitment to your study. In addition to the formal contact time required for each of your course you will need to allocate non-contact time. This includes taking time for activities including assessment tasks, reading, researching, note-taking, revision, writing and informal discussions with other students
    Learning Activities Summary
    There will be total of 12 lectures (of different lengths) covering different topical areas of criminal law. The course involves blended learning. Approximately 30% of the lectures are available pre-course online, The other 70% will be delivered in person the week 24-28 September.

    There will also be guest speakers, including from legal practice and the judiciary.

    There are two items of assessment. Students can select any topic or issue covered within the course and will conduct a class presentation setting out the issue and their views on potential law reform and their reasoning. The presentation will be 12 minutes long with up to 8 minutes for questions. This is worth 30%.

    There will be a research essay on a criminal law topic covered within the course. Students can select any topic as long as it is not the same topic as selected for the class presentation. This will be worth 70%. The essay word limit is 5000 words.
  • 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
    on a topical area of criminal law with student views on law reform in that area
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Length Redeemable Learning Outcome
    Research Essay: Write 5000 words on a topical area of criminal law with student views on law reform in that area Individual 19 October 2018 70% 5000 words
    No
    1, 2, 3, 4
    Individual research presentation Individual To be scheduled during seminars 30% 20 minutes (equivalent to 1250 words)
    No
    1, 2, 3, 4
    Assessment Detail
    There are two items of assessment.
    Students can select any issue covered within the course and will conduct a class presentation setting out the issue and their views on potential law reform and their reasoning. The presentation will be 12 minutes long with 8 minutes for questions. This is worth 30%.

    There will be a research essay on any criminal law topic covered within the course (it cannot be the same topic as chosen for the presentation). This will be worth 70%. The essay word limit is 5000 words.

    There are no right or wrong answers to many of the topical and often difficult issues covered within the course. Students are encouraged to engage with the classes (including from guest speakers) and course material, analyse, draw on both Australian and overseas, think critically and come up with their own conclusions and reasoning.
    Submission

    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All assignments in this course are to be submitted  electronically through Turnitin.

    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.

    Extensions: Requests for extensions must be made electronically according to law school policy. 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.

    Penalties:

    1. Late Submission: Submission penalties of 5% (of the total mark of the assignment) each day (or part thereof) will be deducted for late submission (including weekends and public holidays), (ie an essay graded 63% will have 5 % deducted if it is one day late, for a final mark of 58%, 10% if it is two days, 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 available 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 2 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.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

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

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).

    Moderation
    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:
    • assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    • detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    • sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    • reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    • comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    • automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    • the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Access Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • 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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.

    The centre offers 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.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

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

    Academic Honesty
    Academic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.

    Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia 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.