Criminal Law

This unit of study will provide an examination of the content of substantive crimes and defences and some of the key procedural and evidentiary aspects of criminal trials. It will also provide an exploration of the various competing theories as to the bases of criminal behaviour. Finally the unit of study will examine key concepts with respect to sentencing policy in criminal cases.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


BLB1101 - Australian Legal System in Context

BLB1114 - Legal Research Methods


Learning Outcomes 

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically review the general principles of criminal liability derived both from common law and statute, in particular, the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) in problem solving and decision making;  
  2. Adapt and apply the doctrine of precedent and the rules of statutory interpretation with initiative and judgement to contemporary hypothetical criminal law problems using inductive and deductive thought processes; and  
  3. Justify the answers to hypothetical problems questions using case and statute law as authority with creativity and intellectual independence.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment research assignment (maximum 1500 words) 20%
Examination Final Examination (3 hours) 80%

Required reading 

The Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)

Australian Criminal Law in the Common Law Jurisdictions 3rd
Arenson, K., Bagaric, M., & Gillies, P. 2011
Oxford Uni Press

Where to next?

If you are interested in this unit as part of a course, refer to our how to apply page to find out more about our application process.

If you are a current VU student, you may be able to enrol in this unit as an elective.

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Already a VU student?

You may be able to enrol in this unit as an elective.

For more info contact the College of Law and Justice.

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