LAW 3546 - Miscarriages of Justice

North Terrace Campus - Winter - 2015

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) - Preorgative 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 Winter
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    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) - Preorgative 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.

    Upon completion of the course, students will have an understanding of:

    1) The history and development of the criminal appeal in Australia and Commonwealth nations
    2) The philosophy, rationale and history of criminal appellate process
    3) The limitations and restrictions on criminal appellate process
    4) Incidents and instances of miscarriage notwithstanding appeal mechanisms
    5) The history and develpoment of the post-conviction institution of mercy and petition process
    6) The criticisms and reform of post-conviction mechanisms in Australia and Commonwealth nations
    7) Inquisitorial mechanisms, including Royal Commissions, as investigators of miscarriage of justice
    8) The utilisation and merits of secondary rights of criminal appeal
    9) The role of the executive and judiciary in correcting miscarriage of justice
    10) International obligations affecting the development and critique of criminal appellate procedure
    11) Critical policy, administrative and economical considerations in ensuring rectitude in criminal process

    Students will achieve this understanding through assessable content including class participation, oral presentations and written research.  Assessment will be required to engage with external guest lectures and utilise web based technology for research.
    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. 1-11
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-11
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-11
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1-11
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1-11
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-11
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-11
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1-11
  • 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: Review and Critique (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2014)
    Gray, Hinton and Caruso, Essays in Advocacy (Barr Smith Press, 2011)
    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 intensively over six days through a combination of lectures and interactive seminars 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.

    The following is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging with the course requirements

    Contact time: attend all scheduled contact hours being 6 hours per day over 6 days, to deliver the 12, 3 hour course modules. This amounts to 36 hours of formal class time across the course

    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

    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 either Criminal Law and Procedure and/or Dispute Resolution and Ethics
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will be engaged in compulsory group presentations as part of the assessment for this course. Details TBA.
  • 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 Grade Due Date Length Learning Objectives
    Participation 10% Throughout N/A 1-11
    Class Group Presentation 20% Selected groups of students will be allocated particular modules and present during the course 15 minutes 1-11
    Research Essay 70% 1 September 2015 at 2pm 3,000 words 1-11


    Assessment is not redeemable.

    Satisfactory attendance and participation in the course is required. Unmitigated failure to attend or participate may affect completion.

    Assessment Related Requirements
    All assessment tasks and satisfactory attendance and participation in each module is required. No assessment is redeemable.
    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 (20%)

    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.
    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 (70%)
    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, on one side of A4 paper.
    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.
    Time for consultation and approval of individually crafted research topic: until 1 August 2015.
    Due Date for submission of all Research Essays: 1 September 2015 at 2pm.




    Submission
    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All assignments in this course are to be submitted in hard copy and electronically through Turnitin. All hardcopy submissions must be accompanied by the Assignment Cover Sheet that accurately states the word length, and contains a signed declaration that the assignment consists of the students own work. A student’s results will be withheld until such time as the student has signed the Assignment Cover Sheet. Markers can refuse to accept assignments which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism.

    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. Hard copy submissions made after 5.00pm on a Friday will be assumed to have been submitted on the next business day and will be penalised accordingly.

    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.

    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 (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
  • Policies & Guidelines
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