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LAW2205 Criminal Law A

Semester 1, 2011 On-campus Springfield
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business
School or Department : School of Law

Contents on this page


Examiner: Eola Barnett
Moderator: Craig Burgess


Pre-requisite: LAW1201 and LAW1202 or
Co-requisite: LAW1201 and LAW1202

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at <//>.


Criminal law sets the limits which society, through the government, imposes on acceptable behaviour. The limits are set to provide the basis of a safe environment in which people can lead productive lives. Going beyond those limits can result in drastic consequences for the individual within the criminal law regime. This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles that underlie criminal law in Queensland. It will also introduce students to criminal procedure, with a focus on Queensland Magistrate and District Court trials; a selected range of criminal law offences and defences, and general principles of sentencing in Queensland. The course is designed to take students on the journey through the criminal process from arrest through to appeal, with a focus on some processes and offences likely to be encountered by commencing criminal law practitioners. Criminal law B will build upon the foundations laid in this course.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. understand the classification of criminal offences and its relevance to other criminal processes, for example, arrest and court jurisdiction
  2. understand the nature of the Criminal Code (Qld)
  3. understand the role, and ethical considerations relevant to that role, of criminal law practitioners
  4. deconstruct and understand selected Criminal Code (Qld) and other statutory criminal offences, defences and excuses
  5. understand the relationship between criminal offences and case law, and the role of the judge and jury
  6. understand criminal processes and general sentencing principles in Queensland
  7. apply, using appropriate problem solving methodologies, the criminal law to problems on selected offences in order to determine the likely outcome to issues
  8. demonstrate satisfactory written communication skills
  9. apply methods of legal citation and referencing
  10. locate, through research, and analyse primary law and secondary materials, relevant to topics considered in this course.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to fundamental principles in criminal law (Queensland) 6.00
2. Arrest and bail 11.00
3. Criminal trial process 11.00
4. Legal representation and ethics 6.00
5. Select property offences 11.00
6. Select defences relating to property offences 11.00
7. Drug offences 11.00
8. Motor vehicle offences 11.00
9. General principles of sentencing 11.00
10. Appeals 11.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Colvin, E & McKechnie, J 2008, Criminal law in Queensland and Western Australia: cases and commentary, 5th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
  • Kenny, RG 2008, An introduction to criminal law in Queensland and Western Australia, 7th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
    (the latest edition is required.)
  • Shanahan, MJ, Smith, PE & Ryan, S 2010, Carter's criminal law of Queensland, 18th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, New South Wales.
    (also available electronically in LexisNexis AU database accessible via USQ Library website.)
  • LAW2205 course content CD available for purchase from the USQ Bookshop. Note that course content is also available on-line via the USQ Study Desk.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Ashworth, A 2009, Principles of criminal law, 6th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
  • Bronitt, S & McSherry, B 2010, Principles of criminal law, 3rd edn, Thomson Reuters, Rozelle, New South Wales.
  • Burton, K & Mackenzie, G 2006, Butterworths questions and answers: criminal law in Queensland and Western Australia, LexisNexis Butterworths, Sydney, New South Wales.
  • Douglas, H, Everton-Moore, K, Harbidge, S & Levy, L 2010, Criminal process in Queensland and Western Australia, Thomson Reuters, Pyrmont, New South Wales.
  • Edney, R & Bagaric, M 2007, Australian sentencing: principles and practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
  • Hunter, J, Cameron, C & Henning, T 2005, Litigation, 7th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
  • Australian guide to legal citation.
  • Informit Online [electronic database]: AGIS - Attorney Generals Information Service, CINCH - Australian criminology database, AFPD - Australian Federal Police Digest (accessible via USQ Library Databases.
  • Legal Online [electronic database]: Summary Offences Queensland, Australian Criminal Reports, Criminal Law Journal (accessible via USQ Library Database Services.
  • LexisNexis AU [electronic database]: Carter's Criminal Law of Queensland - accessible via USQ Library Databases.
  • LexisNexis concise Australian legal dictionary (latest edition).

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 50.00
Lectures and Tutorials 39.00
Private Study 36.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives assessed Graduate skill Level assessed Notes
ASSIGNMENT 40 40 27 Apr 2011 1,2,4,5,6,8,9,10 U1,U2,U3,U4,U5,U6,U7,U8,U9 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1
EXAMINATION - PART A 20 20 End S1 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 U1,U2,U3,U4,U5,U7,U8,U9 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1 (see note 1)
EXAMINATION - PART B 40 40 End S1 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 U1,U2,U3,U4,U5,U7,U8,U9 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1

  1. The examination is scheduled to be held in the end-of-semester examination period. Students will be advised of the official examination date for Examination (Parts A and B) after the timetable has been finalised. The total working time for Examination (Parts A and B) is 2 hours.

Graduate qualities and skills

Elements of the following USQ Graduate Skills are associated with the sucessful completion of this course.
Ethical research and enquiry (U1)Introductory (Level 1)
Problem solving (U2)Introductory (Level 1)
Academic, professional and digital literacy (U3)Introductory (Level 1)
Written and oral communication (U4)Introductory (Level 1)
Interpersonal skills (U5)Introductory (Level 1)
Teamwork (U6)Introductory (Level 1)
Cultural literacy (U7)Introductory (Level 1)
Management, planning and organisational skills (U8)Introductory (Level 1)
Creativity, initiative and enterprise (U9)Introductory (Level 1)

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be assessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This will be an open examination. Candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments: Students studying this course as part of a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style. Students who are not enrolled in either of these programs may use either Harvard (AGPS) or the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. For AGLC style guide enquiries, consult the AGLC manual from the USQ Library's referencing guide at <//>, or contact the Law librarian. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at <//>.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access: Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at <//>.