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CRIM12-204: The Australian Criminal Justice System September 2020 [Standard - The Australian Criminal Justice System]

General information

This subject considers the main institutions and agencies involved in criminal justice in Australia, namely police, courts and prisons. The subject offers descriptions and data regarding these institutions as well as critical analyses of the agencies involved with reference to particular social groups and crime issues. Some contemporary issues include deaths in custody, the role of juries, mandatory sentencing, notification laws, DNA evidence and restorative justice. The overall emphasis is on gaining knowledge of how these institutions operate and what the current policy implications are. However, we will also examine other justice systems (juvenile justice, restorative, inquisitorial) to provide a basis of comparison with the operations of criminal justice in Australia.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:CRIM12-204
Subject title:The Australian Criminal Justice System
Subject level:Undergraduate
Semester/Year:September 2020
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Lecture: x12 (Total hours: 24) - Weekly Lecture
  • Tutorial: x12 (Total hours: 12) - Weekly Tutorial
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 84) - Recommended Study Hours
Attendance and learning activities: Attendance at all classes (lectures and tutorials) is essential for those students who want to do well in this subject. The tutorials will involve practical application of the material covered in lectures, and so attendance is paramount.


Prescribed resources:
  • Mark Findlay,Stephen Odgers,Stanley Yeo (2014). Australian Criminal Justice. Oxford University Press , 576.
After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?


Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Describe the processes involved in the justice system.
  2. Appraise new developments in justice processes (such as drug courts).
  3. Critically discuss contemporary criminal justice issues (such as lock-out laws).


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
Oral Pitch Individual Presentation 50% Ongoing 1, 2, 3.
Online Quiz Online Test covering the first six weeks' content 25% Week 7 1, 2, 3.
Online Quiz Online Test covering content for Weeks 7 to 11 25% Week 12 1, 2, 3.
  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A student who has not established a basis for an extension in compliance with University and Faculty policy either by 1) not applying before the assessment due date or 2) by having an application rejected due to failure to show a justifiable cause for an extension, will receive a penalty on assessment submitted after its due date. The penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment for every day late, with the first day counted after the required submission time has passed. No assessment will be accepted for consideration seven calendar days after the due date. Where a student has been granted an extension, the late penalty starts from the new due date and time set out in the extension.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Disability support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Subject curriculum

The lecture introduces the main agencies of criminal justice in Australia; no tutorials, no set readings


This lecture canvasses the notion of culpability in the law; tutorials commence; read Chapter 1


The lecture will focus on the police as a formal agent of crime control and examine investigatory procedures and issues; presentations commence in the tutorials; read Chapter 2

1, 2.

The lecture evaluates the myriad of other investigatory bodies that are adjunct to the criminal justice system in Australia; the Justice Brief is due for submission; oral presentations continue in the tutorials; read Chapter 3

1, 2.

This lecture addresses matters of the courts (levels, procedures, hearings); the first in-class quiz will be held; oral presentations continue in the tutorials; read Chapters 4 and 5

1, 2.

In this lecture we examine laws surrounding evidence and attendant issues such as the presentation of DNA evidence; oral presentations continue in the tutorials; read Chapter 6

1, 2, 3.

The lecture material covers the principles of punishment and canvasses the range of options available in Australian jurisdictions; oral presentations continue in the tutorials; read Chapter 7

1, 2, 3.

This lecture looks at the application of the principles of punishment and the penalty options canvassed in the previous week as well as the empirical studies of sentencing; the second in-class quiz will be held; the last of the oral presentations will be delivered in the tutorials; read Chapter 8

1, 2, 3.

The lecture covers the final step in justice proceedings - the appeal - and raises issues drawing on international experience; read Chapter 9

1, 2, 3.

This lecture focusses on the treatment of particular groups in the criminal justice system (women, Indigenous, youth, mentally ill) and presents relevant research results; read Chapter 10

1, 2, 3.

This lecture centres on new justice practices such as restorative and therapeutic justice with case examples; the last in-class quiz will be held; read the paper provided on iLearn

1, 2, 3.

In this lecture we examine wrongful convictions and remedies to miscarriages of justice as well as discuss future reforms to the ACJS; read the paper provided on iLearn

1, 2, 3.
Approved on: Jul 24, 2020. Edition: 3.4
Last updated: Aug 5, 2020.