University of Technology Sydney

70114 Criminal Law and Procedure

Requisite(s): ( 70102c Foundations of Law OR (70115c Perspectives on Law AND 70120c Legal Method and Research))
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 70217 Criminal Law AND 70218 Criminal Law


This subject deals with substantive criminal law and criminal procedure. The substantive criminal law component examines the principles of criminal liability, specific criminal offences – principally homicide, assaults and property offences – complicity and defences. The criminal procedure component covers aspects of police powers and prosecution. The primary source of criminal law in NSW is the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), although some offences and defences, as well as broader principles of criminal responsibility, are defined at common law. Accordingly, students engage in both statutory interpretation and case law analysis.

Students are encouraged in seminar discussions to contextualise their understanding of the legal principles and processes through consideration of the aims of criminal justice and the social, political and historical factors contributing to the development and reform of criminal law.

Criminal Law and Procedure is one of the subject requirements for admission as a legal practitioner in all Australian jurisdictions. Accordingly, this subject is part of the core program for the Bachelor of Laws and Juris Doctor degrees. It provides students with the requisite knowledge of criminal law and procedure to prepare graduates for professional practice in the field.

Students develop legal problem-solving skills in interpreting factual scenarios, identifying relevant legal issues, and applying rules to the facts to formulate a sound legal position. These techniques provide a foundation for legal problem-solving in other substantive law subjects. Legal problem-solving is an essential skill in legal practice when delivering legal advice or representing a client. Equally important is the ability of students to effectively communicate the process and results of legal problem-solving, which is developed through the class discussions – structured around discussion questions and problem-solving exercises – and through each of the assessment tasks. The teaching strategies are designed to encourage students to collaborate in both critical evaluation and legal problem-solving.

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