LAW 6506 - Criminal Law Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course is aimed at graduates who would like to develop the knowledge and skills required to act for the defence or prosecution in 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, advise clients before arrest, seek bail, make pleas, participate in minor contested hearings and assist in preparing cases for trial (including identifying and gathering evidence needed to support a clients? case, the organisation of evidence, briefing witnesses and preparing a brief for counsel). 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
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 6501
    Assessment Assessment in this course will include a combination of two or more of the following: Making a plea and bail application, Advocacy demonstration, letters of advice, online quizzes, multiple choice questions and discussion boards.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Michelle Elliott

    In the first instance, students are to contact the GDLP Coordinator, Michelle Elliott at

    The GDLP Coordinator will contact the appropriate Course Supervisor if further clarification of a 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.

    The full timetable of all activites for this course can be accessed from the 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 8 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 
    Making a Guilty Plea Practice 
    Making a Bail Application Assessment
    Making a Guilty Plea Asssessment

    OFF-SITE SEMINAR - Practical Coaching Clinic with Guest Practitioners
    Students will be divided into groups and will actively participate in the following:

    Opening and/or Closing Address
    Examination in Chief and Cross Examination

    Seminar is off site at the District Court 
    This seminar at the District Court is compulsory

    This Practical is compulsory.  
    Students are provided with the opportunity to demonstrate skills and knowledge developed in the Practical Coaching Clinic.  
    Students are divided into groups and set times are scheduled (to be advised based on group size)

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

    1. Providing advice
    • identified the client’s legal rights and legal powers of the police or other prosecutors or investigators in relation to a criminal matter.
    • informed the client of those rights and powers in a way that a reasonable client could understand.
    • identified the legal elements of any offence with which the client is charged.
    • where possible, confirmed in writing any instructions given by the client in response to initial advice.
    • implemented the client's instructions, when it is appropriate in the circumstances to do so.

    2. Applying for bail
    • identified the client’s options and communicated them to the client in a way a reasonable client could understand.
    • helped the client to make an informed decision about which option to select.
    • made, or been involved in the process of making, or observed, an application for bail or taken other action effectively in the circumstances.
    • fully advised the client of any bail conditions.

    3. Making pleas
    • identified the client’s options and communicated them to the client in a way a reasonable client could understand.
    • identified and gathered all material useful to the plea, according to law and good practice.
    • presented, or been involved in the process of presenting, or observed the presentation of, the plea in an effective and persuasive manner, having regard to the circumstances of the case.
    • advised the client fully of the outcome in a way a reasonable client could understand.

    4. Representing a client in minor matters
    • completed all preparation required by law, good practice and the circumstances of the case.
    • represented, or been involved in representing the client, or observed the client being represented, effectively at a contested hearing.

    5. Assisting to prepare cases for trial
    • identified and gathered the evidence needed to support the client’s case.
    • identified and briefed, or been involved in briefing, appropriate experts (including counsel) having regard to good practice and the requirements of the case.
    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 to 5
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1 to 5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1 to 5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1 to 5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1 to 5
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1 to 5
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1,4,5
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1 to 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Seminar resources and readings are available on MyUni ONLY. Please NOTE there will be no hard copy of resources printed. Students must bring electronic devices to seminars to access seminar materials. Supplementary online quizzes and activities to enhance students learning are available on MyUni.

    Due to the emphasis on current legal practice, other materials may be added after the course outline has been posted. Students are required to check MyUni regularly (at least weekly) to keep up to date.


    Bail Applications by Claire O’Connor (2012)

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

    Bail Act 1985

    Controlled Substances Act 1984
    Controlled Substances (General) Regulations 2000
    Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935

    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)


    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

    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
    Most course resources are provided to students ONLINE via MyUni. Relevant law can be accessed online via:

    Due to the emphasis on current legal practice, other materials may be added after the course outline has been posted. Students are required to check MyUni regularly (at least weekly) to keep up to date.
    Online Learning
    All course materials are provided on MyUni. This includes readings, seminar materials, assessment information and instructions, and audio recordings of lectures. Students are required to check MyUni regularly (at least weekly) to keep up to date.
  • 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, namely having undertaken prior readings and developed draft responses to the seminar questions. If students have not prepared and / or arrive more than 10 minutes late they may be asked to leave the seminar group. 

    A reminder that students MUST bring along electronic devices to the seminar so they can access the seminar materials electronically. 

    Attendance is necessary to ensure that students are part of the interactive and reflective learning environment (which enhances learning outcomes) and provides students with the ability to develop their skills of oral presentation, teamwork and persuasion (valuable to the professional environment). Students are expected to behave in an ethical and professional manner as would be expected in the workplace environment (compliant with the professional conduct rules and standards). 

    Students, who due to disability, compelling medical or compassionate reasons, or in exceptional circumstance, are unable to attend the required seminars, may complete alterative work in lieu of attendance. The precise nature of this make-up work will depend on the seminar misses and will be negotiated with the GDLP Coordinator. Students MUST inform the GDLP Coordinator at the earliest opportunity of their absence and where they require this make-up work option.

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

    In addition to the lectures and seminars (see course timetable) we recommend that you spend 8 hours per week in private study which includes reading the materials, 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: Quiz

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

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

    Assessment: Making a Bail Application

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

    Assessment: Making a Guilty Plea Application

    Topic 3: Opening and Closing Address

    Lecutre 3: 1.5 hours 
    Opening and Closing Addresses

    Topic 4: Examination in Chief and Cross Examination

    Lecture 4: 1.5 hours

    Practical: District Court (Group setting)
    Guest Practitioners/Trial Snippets

    Open and/or Closing address
    Examination in Chief and Cross Examination

    Practical Assessment
    Assessment: Open &/or Closing Addresses and Examination in Chief & Cross Examination (one to one appointments)


    Demonstration of Case Criminal Trial Prepartion, including Case Concept 

    Demonstration of an Opening or Closing Address 

    Demonstration of a Examination in Chief or Cross Examination 

    Specific Course Requirements
    The course is based on the rules of the Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council (LPEAC) 2004 and Law Admissions Consultative Committee 2015 which specifies the expected competency standards for entry level lawyers at the point of admission. In order to pass this course you are expected to demonstrate competence in these standards. Consequently, the compulsory attendance and active participation in seminars is required in addition to assessment tasks.
  • 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

    Assessments will be made available to students, prior to the nominated deadline.

    Note: Competence must be demonstrated in all assessment tasks and activities.

    Assessment deadlines are as follows, unless otherwise advised:

    Topic 1: Criminal Trial Advocacy Preparation

    Learning outcomes 1-5

    Available: 17/5/15, 9am
    Deadline: 24/5/15, 5pm

    Topic 2: Bail Applications and Guilty Pleas

    Making a Bail and Guilty Plea Applications
    Learning outcomes 1-3

    Deadline: At Assessment Seminars  - 22/5/15

    Topic 3 and 4: Opening & Closing Address and Examination in Chief & Cross Examination

    Demonstration of Criminal Trial Prepartion, including Case Concept 

    Demonstration of an Opening and/or Closing Address 

    Demonstration of a Examination in Chief or Cross Examination 

    Learning outcomes 1-5
    Deadline: 28/5/15

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Detailed information regarding the specific details of assessment which are required to be completed satisfactorily will be provided on MyUni.

    In this course, students will also be assessed on the following:
    • Attendance (95% rule applies)
    • Punctuality
    • Workload management and ability to adhere to deadlines
    • Display active engagement in practical activities
    • Demonstrate respectful behaviour towards others
    • Maintaining a high level of confidentiality at all times
    • Satisfactory completion of prescribed exercises
    Assessment Detail
    Unless otherwise stated, there will be no prescribed word limit for assessments.

    This is because the purpose of the GDLP programme is to facilitate your transition from undergraduate academic law studies to the legal professional employment environment through the demonstration and practice of professionally-based skills and competencies. In a legal practice it is highly unlikely you will be set 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.
    Assessment competence will take into consideration: expression, structure, correct grammar, typography, 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 Coordinator through a Course Announcement.

    Students must retain a copy of all assessments submitted.

    Students are to submit assessments online within MyUni.

    Please note: where forms or documents have been outlined in assessment activities for completion these should be downloaded from original sources and completed in an electronic format, if not supplied.

    Students will be marked in accordance with the marking rubric.


    Students are required to demonstrate competency in all elements of the national competency standards and failure to do so will result in the relevant assessment being marked as non-competent (fail). All non-competent (failed) assessments, per University policy, are double-marked before the results are released back to the student. The first and second markers discuss what the final result will be.

    If the assessment is deemed non-competent (fail) after the double-marking process, students may be offered the opportunity to revise and resubmit the assessment. Students granted a resubmission will have 7 days from the time they are informed by email from the LSSA GDLP Office to resubmit the assessment. In most cases only the parts of the assessment that do not attain competence will be required to be resubmitted. Only ONE opportunity is provided for resubmission.


    Students MUST apply for an extension prior to the deadline to the GDLP Coordinator.
    Extensions on medical and compassionate grounds will be in accordance with University policy.

    Late Submission

    NOTE: in this course, students are assessed against a professional workplace standard; namely
    • Punctuality
    • Workload management and ability to adhere to deadlines

    Course Grading

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

    GS8 (Coursework Grade Scheme)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing
    FNS Fail No Submission
    NFE No Formal Examination
    F Fail
    NGP Non Graded Pass
    P Pass
    C Credit
    D Distinction
    HD High Distinction
    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.

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme: 
    Grade Grade reflects following criteria for allocation of grade: Reported on Official Transcript
    Fail No Submission No work submitted for assessment FNS
    Fail Competency not demonstrated F
    Non-Graded Pass Competency demonstrated NGP
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN
    No Formal Examination No formal examination NFE

    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
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • 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.

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