LAW 3546 - Miscarriages of Justice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2018

The course examines first instance criminal appeal process in South Australian and Federal Courts and post-conviction review mechanisms throughout Commonwealth nations, including Australia, the U.K, Canada, Scotland and New Zealand. Students will critically examine, through class participation and oral and written assessment, the development, rules and nature of criminal appeals in Australia in contrast with post-conviction processes for reviewing criminal convictions subsequent to exhaustion of the appeal process. The course syllabus involves the following modules (over 3 hours) over the intensive period of teaching: History and Development of the Criminal Appeal in the United Kingdom; Criminal appeal Process in Australian State and Federal Jurisdictions; Criminal Appeal in other Commonwealth Nations; The Principle of Finality; The Institution of Mercy (1) - Prerogative Power and Exercise; The Institution of Mercy (2)- Referral Power and Exercise; Special Inquisition into Criminal Miscarriage - Royal Commission and Inquiry; The Nature of Executive Post-Conviction Review and the Separation of Powers; Reform CCRC;s and Innocence Projects; Reform - Second Statutory Appeals; International Obligations on Criminal Appeal Process and Executive Mercy.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 3546
    Course Miscarriages of Justice
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week(when averaged over the semester)
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 2503
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description The course examines first instance criminal appeal process in South Australian and Federal Courts and post-conviction review mechanisms throughout Commonwealth nations, including Australia, the U.K, Canada, Scotland and New Zealand. Students will critically examine, through class participation and oral and written assessment, the development, rules and nature of criminal appeals in Australia in contrast with post-conviction processes for reviewing criminal convictions subsequent to exhaustion of the appeal process. The course syllabus involves the following modules (over 3 hours) over the intensive period of teaching: History and Development of the Criminal Appeal in the United Kingdom; Criminal appeal Process in Australian State and Federal Jurisdictions; Criminal Appeal in other Commonwealth Nations; The Principle of Finality; The Institution of Mercy (1) - Prerogative Power and Exercise; The Institution of Mercy (2)- Referral Power and Exercise; Special Inquisition into Criminal Miscarriage - Royal Commission and Inquiry; The Nature of Executive Post-Conviction Review and the Separation of Powers; Reform CCRC;s and Innocence Projects; Reform - Second Statutory Appeals; International Obligations on Criminal Appeal Process and Executive Mercy.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr David Caruso

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    This course is designed to provide an understanding of criminal appeal process in South Australian and Federal Courts and post-conviction
    review mechanisms throughout Commonwealth nations, including Australia, the U.K, Canada, Scotland and New Zealand.

    Students will critically examine the development, rules and nature of criminal appeals in Australia in contrast with post-conviction processes for reviewing criminal convictions subsequent to exhaustion of the appeal process.

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

    1. Compare and contrast appellate and post-conviction processes in Commonwealth nations
    2. Analyse the history and development of appellate and post-conviction processes in Commonwealth nations
    3. Explain causes for the development and evolution of appellate and post-conviction processes in Commonwealth
      nations
    4. Argue from empirical data the merits of different systems for the discovery of miscarriage of justice
    5. Analyse the foundation interdisciplinary methods for idenitfication of miscarriage of justice
    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)
    1-5
    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
    1-5
    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
    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
    1-5
    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
    1-5
    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
    1-5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Printed materials available from the Image and Copy Centre and online through MyUni
    Recommended Resources
    Caruso et al, South Australian Criminal Law & Procedure (LexisNexis, 2nd ed, 2016)

    Gray, Hinton and Caruso, Essays in Advocacy (Barr Smith Press, 2012)

    Further materials to be advised
    Online Learning
    MyUni will be used to announce and distribute course material, information and assessment tasks
    Students should regularly check and keep up to date with MyUni
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is taught by twice-weekly 3-hour workshops during which general participation will be expected, assessable student presentations will be given and matters pertaining to the research assessment task will be identified, considered and debated
    Workload

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

    Contact time: the course is delivered by way of 3-hour workshops. Students should attend all workshops.

    Preparation time: In addition to attending formal classes it is anticipated that students will do substantial independent work to prepare for each module and to complete the course assessment. The University expects full time students (those undertaking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies.
    Learning Activities Summary

    The following 12 modules are primarily delivered by David Caruso as assisted by guest lecturers

    Schedule
    Week Topic
    1 History and Development of the Criminal Appeal in the United Kingdom
    2 Criminal appeal Process in Australian State and Federal Jurisdictions
    3 Criminal Appeal in other Commonwealth Nations
    4 The Principle of Finality
    5 The Institution of Mercy (1) - Preorgative Power and Exercise
    6 The Institution of Mercy (2) - Referral Power and Exercise
    7 Special Inquisition into Criminal Miscarriage - Royal Commission and Inquiry
    8 The Nature of Executive Post-Conviction Review and the Separation of Powers
    9 Reform (1) - CCRC and Innocence Projects
    10 Reform (2) - Second Statutory Appeals
    11 International Obligations on Criminal Appeal Process
    12 Executive Mercy

    The coordinator may change the order of these modules and revise their content.

    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no requirements for completion of this course other than those described in this document.

    It is preferable that students undertaking the course have completed Criminal Law and/or Dispute Resolution and Ethics.
  • 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 Task Length Due Weighting Redeemable Learning Outcome
    Participation N/A

    Throughout

    10% No 1-5
    Class Group Presentation 20 minutes Selected groups of students will be allocated particular modules and present during the course 30% No 1-5
    Research Essay 4000 words Friday of Week 12 by 2pm 60% No 1-5
    Assessment Related Requirements
    All assessment tasks and satisfactory attendance and participation in each module is required.
    Assessment Detail
    Participation (10%)
    Students will be individually assessed on their particpation in class. Participation requires attendance and substative contribution to course discussions and debate. There are no mimium attendance requirements and participation should not be equated with " number of minutes spent speaking", however, attendance and verbal contributions and reflections are, obviously, critical to the exercise of the course coordinator's discretion in awarding particpation grades.

    Class Presentation (30%)

    For the purposes of a class presentation, the class will be divided into selected sub-groups.
    The University has emphasised the significance of group work in its Graduate Attributes and this component of assessment is designed to develop your interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication skills. You will be expected to work consistently within your group and to overcome any communication and/or co-operation issues. If you feel that your group is not working appropriately, you are to contact the Course Coordinator in the first instance. A meeting will be set up between the Course Coordinator and members of the group. Every effort will be made to overcome the problem and facilitate successful group work.
    The class presentation, based upon your group work, will involve reading, reflecting upon, synthesising, and presenting your thoughts on the materials assigned. Each student will receive the grade assigned to the group presentation.
    The presentation will involve a 20-minute oral presentation from the group. The group should prepare and utilise written materials and/or audio visual content as part of the presentation, however, there is no written component to be submitted as part of this assessment.
    As noted above, the reflection is intended to highlight the thoughts of the students making the presentation about the materials. There is no set form to this presentation, other than that it MUST NOT BE a reading out of the materials themselves. Rather, it MUST BE a reflective and critical assessment of the materials. This will be explained further during the initial sessions of the course.

    Research Essay (60%)
    The paper will be in the form of an essay. This assessment is designed to assess students’ ability critically to examine and evaluate a topic that addresses the issues covered by the course.
    The paper must be written in prose style (using complete sentences) adhere to grammatical rules, and use correct spelling. It should be typed, using double spaced paragraphs.
    The Course Coordinator will issue a set of research questions from which the student can select the topic to be researched in completion of the Research Essay. Students may craft their own question in consultation with the Course Coordinator, however, approval to complete a question outside of those issued for the course is entirely at the discretion of the Course Coordinator.
    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.

    Late Submission: 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 that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc.

    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.
    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.