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LAWS1022 is only available in T3 by School Consent. Contact UNSW Law Students Services for more information. 

This course follows from LAWS1021 / JURD 7121 Crime and the Criminal Process, and applies the perspectives and themes of that course to the doctrinally central criminal offences and defences. These are examined in a contextual framework that emphasises the policy and social issues underpinning the development and application of the law. This critical approach allows students to appreciate a complex set of conflicting ideologies, principles, discretion and histories informing the criminal law. The course draws on materials from other disciplines – especially criminology, history, sociology and feminist theory, which enhance students’ appreciation of the law in context. Social issues including race, class and gender are stressed. Comparisons with jurisdictions other than NSW are undertaken where this highlights relevant policy issues, legislative alternatives, or demonstrates the contingent nature of the law in question. Throughout, detailed doctrinal analysis of the chosen offences/defences takes place and students develop the skills of legal element analysis of both statutory and common law offences and defences. 

 Main Topics

  • Homicide
  • Defences (including mental illness, automatism, self-defence, provocation, substantial impairment, intoxication)
  • Assault (including aggravated assault and domestic violence)
  • Sexual Assault
  • Dishonest Acquisition
  • Extending Criminal Liability (including complicity)
  • Sentencing
Faculty Faculty of Law
Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 2, Term 3



Indicative contact hours


Conditions for Enrolment

Prerequisite: LAWS1021 or JURD7121 or LAWS1001 or JURD7101

Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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