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This course introduces students without a legal background to the key concepts and principles that underpin criminal laws in Australia, focussing particularly on the common law jurisdictions. It provides an important foundation for other courses offered in the Criminal Justice & Criminology Program.

Students will examine the way criminal responsibility attaches to certain behaviours,
how that criminal responsibility is processed via the agencies of the State, and, finally, the disposition of offences by way of sentencing.

The course provides a critical examination of the elements of major substantive criminal offences and defences, within the wider historical, social and political context.

Main Topics

  • Sources of Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Substantive Offences (selected)
  • Defences to Criminal Liability (selected)
  • Sentencing and Punishment
Faculty Faculty of Law
Study Level


Indicative contact hours


Conditions for Enrolment

Prerequisite: Academic Program must be either 9235 or 9200 or 9201 or 9285 or 9210 or 9220.

Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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