LAW 6506 - Criminal Law Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

This course is aimed at graduates who would like to develop the knowledge and skills required to act for the defence or prosecution in a criminal law practice. There is a strong practical focus in this course; for example your advocacy skills will be developed through a simulated court activity. Topics include but are not limited to: -The role of the prosecution and defence -Representing a client charged with a criminal offence and advising the client on aspects of the charge -Preparing a simple bail application for an accused person -Presenting a guilty plea for an accused person -Identifying and gathering the evidence needed to support a client's case -Assisting in the preparation of a defended criminal case for trial, including the organisation of evidence, briefing witnesses and preparing a brief for counsel -Demonstration of advocacy skills though participating in a simulated court activity The course is offered in partnership with South Australian practitioners, courts and agencies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 6506
    Course Criminal Law Practice
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Prerequisites LAW 6501
    Assessment Assessment in this course will include a combination of two or more of the following: Making an application or plea, Advocacy demonstration, letters of advice, reflective journal, online quizzes, multiple choice questions and discussion boards.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Maree Cutler-Naroba

    In the first instance, students are to contact the GDLP Program Director, Maree Cutler-Naroba at

    The GDLP Program Director will then contact the appropriate Course Supervisor if further clarification of the student query is needed.

    Course Supervisor: Kos Lesses
    Course Coordinator (UA Law School): Kellie Toole
    Course Timetable

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

    For Criminal Law there are 8 hours of lectures: the lectures are pre-recorded and available online.
    There are NO face to face lectures.

    For Criminal Law there are 10 hours of Seminars divided into the following blocks of time
    All Seminars are compulsory
    Students enrol in ONE seminar group ONLY

    Making a Bail Application Practice 2 hours
    Making a Guilty Plea Practice 2 hours
    Making a Bail Application Assessment 2 hours
    Making a Guilty Plea Asssessment 2 hours
    Opening and Closing Address Practice 2 hours

    PRACTICAL 2 hours
    This Practical is compulsory
    Students enrol in ONE group only: Foundations Advocacy Practical
    Students will be in small groups for the purpose of practicing their assessment for the Advocacy Day at the District Court.

    Seminar is off site at the District Court 5 hours
    This Foundations Seminar at the District Court is compulsory
    The morning session will involve assessment and the afternoon session will involve Guest Practitioners.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the end of this course you will be able to: 

    1. provide advice to a criminal client;

    2. explore the common issues arising when acting in criminal matters such as – funding, instructions, bail, witnesses, interviews, attendances, experts, negotiations, disclosure, psychiatric/psychological issues, lesser charges, pre-trial matters, guilty pleas, and trials;

    3. understand the role of the DPP and police prosecution;

    4. prepare and present a bail application;

    5. understand case concepts;

    6. recognise the specialist criminal courts;

    7. understand sentencing and make a guilty plea; and

    8. understand criminal trial advocacy processes and procedures.
    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)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4,7
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1,2,3,4,7,8
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 4,7,8
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 4,7
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1,2
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1,2
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Seminar resources are available on MyUni ONLY. Please NOTE there will be no hard copy of seminar resources printed. Students must bring along an electronic device to seminars so that they can access seminar materials. Reading resources are also available on MyUni, along with supplementary non-assessed online quizzes and activities to enhance your learning.


    Bail Applications by Claire O’Connor (2012)

    Whether to Prosecute – Extracts from the DPP’s Statement of Prosecution Policy and Guidelines

    Bail Act 1985
    • Contents and Interpretation
    • Lunn Commentary ss 1-18

    Controlled Substances Act 1984
    • Contents and Interpretation
    • Lunn Commentary ss 1-4 and ss 33B-33D

    Controlled Substances (General) Regulations 2000
    • Contents, Reg 6-7 & Sch 3 Part 2

    Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935
    • Contents and Interpretation
    • Lunn Commentary ss 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 31 and ss 85, 134, 169, 170 and s 285 BA-C

    Guilty Pleas

    Guilty Pleas and Sentencing – Useful Cases to Know

    Guilty Pleas in the Magistrates Courts by Claire O’Connor (2012)

    Guilty Pleas: Judge Rice (CPD April 2011)

    Tips and Traps of Presenting Cases in the Magistrates Court by

    Kym Boxall SM (CPD May 2001 updated July 2010)

    Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988
    • Contents and Interpretation
    • Lunn Commentary ss 6, 10, 11, 18, 19B, 19C & 36-44

    Trial Preparation


    Preparation for Trial: A Checklist

    Pre-trial Conferences and Direction Hearings (please also refer to Rule 26 below)

    Preparing for your first (few) Criminal Trial(s) in the Magistrates Court by Tim Dibden (CPD Nov 2006)
    Tips and traps for Presenting Cases in the District Court by The Honourable Justice Sulan (formerly His Honour Judge Sulan) (CPD May 2001)

    Magistrates Court Rules
    • Rule 26.00 (Pre-trial Preparation)

    1. Standard Arrest Advice by Claire O’Connor
    2. Extract from Standard Arrest Advice by Kathryn Waite (CPD Sept 2010 edited by Claire O’Connor)
    3. Guide to Client Advice, adapted from Criminal Law Precedents by Ian Dearden and Keith Tronc

    4. Traffic Offences – Motor Accident Update by Joana Fuller (CPD Feb 2006 updated June 2010)
    5. Road Traffic Law Update – Recent Case Law (PowerPoint Presentation) by Joana Fuller (CPD Mar 2011)
    6. Drink Driving by Michael Woods (CPD April 2012)
    7. Speeding by Michael Woods (CPD April 2012)
    8. Driving Disqualified by Craig Caldicott (CPD April 2012)
    9. Running a Criminal File – A User’s Guide by Claire O’Connor
    10. Is Imprisonment The Only Sentence Available : Michael Woods (CPD Mar 2011)
    11. Drug Intervention Programs (PowerPoint Presentation) by Sue King (CPD Feb 2011)
    12. Magistrates Court Diversion Program (PowerPoint Presentation) by Sue King (CPD Feb 2011)
    Magistrates Court Drug Court (information from the CAA website)
    Magistrates Court – Court Diversion Program (information from the CAA website)
    13a&b.Treatment Intervention Program (2 x pdfs)
    Recommended Resources
    Note: all of the resources are provided to students ONLINE.
    Due to the emphasis on the currency of legal practice, other materials may be added after the course outline has been posted.
    Details of supplementary readings and resources will be posted online under the Content section of Criminal Law Practice.

    Online Learning
    All course materials are provided on My Uni. This includes readings, seminar materials, assessment information and instructions, and audio recordings of lectures. Students are expected to check MyUni frequently over the time of the course, to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be taught through online lectures supported by face to face interactive problem-solving seminars and practical exercises developing primary material.

    Students must come prepared for seminars with prior reading of material and draft responses to the seminar questions. Students must arrive on time for the seminars. If students have not prepared seminar responses and/or have arrived more than 10 minutes late they will be asked to leave the seminar group and enrol in another seminar group.

    A reminder that students MUST bring along an electronic device to the seminars so that they can access the seminar material electronically.

    Attendance is necessary to ensure that students are part of an interactive and reflective learning environment (which enhances learning outcomes of the substantial material covered) and develop their skills of oral presentation, teamwork and persuasion (valuable communication skills in professional environments).

    Preparation for seminars is an essential element of this course. The necessary interactive learning environment in a seminar cannot be achieved without informed participation from all students. Further, by working in small groups within seminars to answer some questions, students develop skills of teamwork. Moreover, active participation in seminar discussions requires students to develop their skills of oral presentation, and their abilities to persuade others through the use of reasoned argument.

    Students who, due to disability, compelling medical or compassionate reasons, or in exceptional circumstances, are unable to attend the required number of seminars, may complete alternative work in lieu of attendance. The precise nature of this make-up work will depend on the seminar missed and will be negotiated with the GDLP Program Director. Students should inform the GDLP Program Director at the earliest opportunity if they will require this permission.

    For these reasons seminar attendance is compulsory and active participation is required.

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

    There will be 8 hours of online lectures, 10 hours of face to face seminars, a 2 hour Practical and a 5 hour District Court Seminar.

    Criminal Law is a 2 week ELECTIVE intensive course.

    In addition to the lectures and seminars, we recommend that you spend 8 hours per week in private study which includes reading the material, preparing for lectures and seminars and undertaking the assessment tasks.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Topic 1: Criminal Trial Advocacy Preparation

    Lecture 1a: 1.5 hours
    Criminal Trial Advocacy Preparation (including Case Concept)

    Lecture 1b:  1.5 hours
    The Role of the Office of the DPP and Police in Prosecutions

    Assessment: Short Answer Questions CTA Preparation 15%

    Topic 2: Bail Applications and Guilty Pleas

    Lecture 2a: 1 hour
    Making a Bail Application 

    Lecture 2b: 1 hour 
    Making a Guilty Plea

    Seminar 1a: 2 hours
    Making a Bail Application Practice (Group setting)

    Seminar 1a: 2 hours
    Making a Guilty Plea Practice (Group setting)

    Seminar 2a: 2 hours
    Making a Bail Application Assessment (one to one appointments will be made)

    Assessment: Making a Bail Application 15%

    Seminar 2b: 2 hours
    Making a Guilty Plea Asssessment (one to one appointments will be made)

    Assessment: Making a Guilty Plea Application 15%

    Topic 3: Opening and Closing Address

    Lecutre 3: 1.5 hours 
    Opening and Closing Addresses

    Seminar 3: 2 hours
    Opening and Closing Address Practice for District Court Assessment (Group setting)

    opic 4: Examination in Chief and Cross Examination in Chief

    Lecture 4: 1.5 houis
    XN and XXN

    Practical: 2 hours
    XN and XXN Practice for District Court Assessment (Group setting)

    District Court 5 hours

    Session 1: Assessment: O and C Addresses and XN and XNN (3 hours, one to one appointments)

    Session 2: Guest Practitioners/Trial Snippets (2 hours)

    Assessment: Demonstration of Case Criminal Trial Prepartion, including Case Concept 15%

    Assessment: Demonstration of an Opening or Closing Address 20%

    Assessment: Demonstration of a Examination in Chief or Cross Examination 20%

    Specific Course Requirements
    The course is based on the rules of the Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council (LPEAC) 2004 which specifies the expected competency standards for entry level lawyers at the point of admission. In order to pass this course you are required to demonstrate competence in these standards. Consequently, compulsory attendance and active participation in seminars is required.
  • 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

    Topic 1: Criminal Trial Advocacy Preparation

    Short Answer Questions
    Criminal Trial Advocacy Preparation 15%

    Available: 2/6/14, 9am
    Deadline: 10/6/14, 5pm

    Learning Objectives: 1, 2 and 3

    Topic 2: Bail Applications and Guilty Pleas

    Making a Bail Application 15%

    Available: 27/5/14, 9am
    Deadline: At Bail Application Assessment Seminar (1, 3, 4 or 5 June)/14

    Learning Objective: 4

    Making a Guilty Plea Application 15%

    Available: 27/5/14, 9am
    Deadline: At Guilty Plea Assessment Seminar (1, 3, 4 or 5 June)/2014

    Learning Objective: 7

    Topic 3: Opening and Closing Address

    Topic 4: Examination in Chief and Cross Examination in Chief

    Demonstration of Case Criminal Trial Prepartion, including Case Concept 15%

    Available: 2/6/14, 9am
    Deadline: District Court Assessment Saturday 14/6/14

    Learning Objectives: 1,2,3,5,6,8

    Demonstration of an Opening or Closing Address 20%

    Available: 2/6/14, 9am
    Deadline: District Court Assessment Saturday 14/6/14

    Learning Objectives: 1,2,3,5,6,8

    Demonstration of a Examination in Chief or Cross Examination 20%

    Available: 2/6/14, 9am
    Deadline: District Court Assessment Saturday 14/6/14

    Learning Objectives: 1,2,3,5,6,8

    All assessments are individual and are redeemable.  

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance and satisfactory participation in seminars is compulsory.
    Assessment Detail
    Unless otherwise stated, there is no prescribed word limit for assessments.

    This is because the purpose of the GDLP is to transition you from academic study into professional employment. In a workplace it is highly unlikely you are going to be told a certain number of words or pages for the tasks you are asked to complete.

    However, in the majority of assessments guidelines will be provided.

    The quality of English expression is considered to be an integral part of the assessment process.

    Marks may be deducted from assessment because of poor expression, incorrect grammar, typographical errors etc.

    Presentation is to be single spaced and 2.5cm left margin.

    Assessments will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the due date, unless otherwise notified by the GDLP Program Director through a Course Announcement.

    The marked and scanned copy of assessments will be returned via email.
    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All failed assignments, per University policy, are double-marked before the result is released back to the student. The first and second markers then discuss what the final result will be.

    If a student still fails after the double marking process, they have to revise and resubmit the assignment to a pass standard. The maximum mark a student can receive is 50%.

    Late submission penalty
    Any assignment submitted after the due date without an approved extension will receive a penalty of 5% for every 24 hours of lateness.

    Approved extensions are through the GDLP Program Director.

    Extensions on medical or compassionate grounds will be in accordance with University Policy.

    Late assessments are to be submitted to

    If a student receives a mark between 50 to 55%, but subsequently fails due to late penalties then 50% is the maximum mark they will receive. BUT, in addition, the student will be asked to revise and resubmit a task from the assessment, at the discretion of the GDLP Program Director.

    If a student receives a mark of 56% or above, but subsequently fails due to late penalties, then 50% is the maximum mark they can receive. There is not an opportunity to resubmit this assignment.

    For example if a student gets 64% and has a late penalty of 20%, giving a result of 44%. This student would get 50% for the assessment and will not be able to resubmit this assignment.

    All the assessments for this course are redeemable. This means, if you fail the assessment due to the quality of the work (not because of late penalties) then you are able to revise and resubmit the assessment. You have 7 days from the time you are informed by email from the LSSA GDLP Office to resubmit your assessment.

    The parts of the assessment you are to resubmit are the parts that you received less than 50% on. You only have ONE opportunity to revise and resubmit your assessment. An alternative task will be set for the non-redeemable assessment.

    When your assessment is resubmitted it is marked according to the marking rubric. Your result, for example maybe 64% BUT the most you can receive for a revised and resubmitted assessment is 50%.
    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.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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