Gold CoastSession 1Session 1
LismoreSession 1Session 1
OnlineSession 1Session 1

Unit description

Provides the student with an introduction to the Australian criminal justice system, together with the principles and major procedural stages of Australian criminal procedure. This will include issues concerning police powers of arrest, search, seizure and interrogation; bail; right to legal representation; committal proceedings; juries; sentencing; appeals; the role of crime victims and anti-terrorism legislation. The unit also examines how the criminal justice system treats traditionally disadvantaged groups, such as children and Australian Indigenous peoples.

Unit content

Part 1 - Introducing the Australian criminal justice system in context
Topic 1 Introduction to criminal justice
Topic 2 Dichotomies of the Australian criminal justice system
Topic 3 The key stakeholders in the Australian criminal justice system (the defendant; the victim; the 'community' and the state)

Part 2 - Steps in criminal procedure
Topic 4 Criminal process I: investigation
Topic 5 Criminal process II: pre-trial
Topic 6 Criminal process III: the trial: the determination of guilt phase
Topic 7 Criminal process IV: the trial: the sentencing phase
Topic 8 Criminal process V: post-trial issues

Part 3 - Disadvantaged groups and Australian criminal justice
Topic 9 Indigenous Australians and the criminal justice system
Topic 10 Children and the criminal justice system

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Hemming, A, Feld, F & Anthony, T, 2019, Criminal Procedure in Australia, 2nd, LexisNexis, Sydney. ISBN: 9780409350111.
  • This is also the prescribed text for Australian Criminal Law II (LAW10004): Bronitt, S & McSherry, B, 2017, Principles of Criminal Law, 4th edn, Lawbook Co, Pyrmont, NSW. ISBN: 9780455237909.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment

Gold Coast

Teaching method
Lecture online 1 hour (10 weeks)
Workshop on-site 2 hours (11 weeks )
Written exercise40%
Exam: open book60%


Teaching method
Lecture online 1 hour (10 weeks)
Workshop on-site 2 hours (11 weeks)
Written exercise40%
Exam: open book60%


Teaching method
Tutorial online 2 hours (11 weeks)
Lecture online 1 hour (10 weeks)
Written exercise40%
Exam: open book60%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2020 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 3

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.