CQUniversity Unit Profile
LAWS11060 Criminal Law
Criminal Law
All details in this unit profile for LAWS11060 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information


LAWS11060 Criminal law provides knowledge of the procedures of and general doctrines of criminal law with emphasis on offences against the person (including murder, manslaughter and assault) and against property (including stealing) as expressed in the Queensland Criminal Code. Selective treatment is given to various defences and to the elements of criminal procedure. This unit together with LAWS13010 Evidence and Proof meets the LPAB requirements for criminal law and procedure.


Career Level: Undergraduate
Unit Level: Level 1
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 10
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Corequisite: LAWS11057

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 1 - 2019


Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Written Assessment
Weighting: 40%
2. Examination
Weighting: 60%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from In zoom sessions and via email


Students commended the practical nature of assessment 1 which required students to prepare written submissions for court.


The UC will continue to teach practical skills and include a practical based assessment in this unit to prepare students for legal practice.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Analyse and explain criminal law offences against the person and against property
  2. Analyse and explain the elements of the criminal offence or defence, and the onus and burden of proof
  3. Research and apply principles of criminal law in Queensland as expressed in legislation and case law to the analysis of criminal law problems
  4. Apply skills in communication, critical legal thinking and reasoning.

Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment - 40%
2 - Examination - 60%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation
10 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Written Assessment - 40%
2 - Examination - 60%
Textbooks and Resources



Criminal Law in Queensland and Western Australia: Cases and Commentary

Edition: 8th (2018)
Authors: Eric Colvin, John McKechnie and Jodie O’Leary
LexisNexis Butterworths
Sydney Sydney , NSW , Australia
Binding: Paperback

Additional Textbook Information

Paper copies will be available for purchase at the CQUni Bookshop here: http://bookshop.cqu.edu.au (search on the Unit code)

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • ZOOM
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: Australian Guide to Legal Citation, 3rd ed

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Jodie O'Leary Unit Coordinator
Week 1 Begin Date: 11 Mar 2019


1. Definition of crime and classification of offences

2. Aims and principles of criminal law and punishment

3. Sources of criminal law in Australia and proof

4. Introduction to research and writing for criminal law


Colvin et al: Chapters 1-2

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 2 Begin Date: 18 Mar 2019


1. Arrest and Bail 

2. Elements of crimes: capacity - corporations, children


Colvin et al: Chapter 25 (paras 25.1-25.42 and 25.66C and 25.67C) and Chapter 21

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 3 Begin Date: 25 Mar 2019


Elements of crimes cont'd:

  • conduct (act v omission)
  • causation, strict liability
  • mental element - intention, wilfulness/recklessness, negligence
  • lack of any available defence - justification/excuse


Colvin et al: Chapter 3 (paras 3.7-3.22C), Chapter 4 (paras 4.9-4.16, 4.30-4.40, 4.46C-4.49C, 4.54C), Chapter 7 (paras 7.46-7.48, 7.54C) and Chapter 10

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 4 Begin Date: 01 Apr 2019


Homicide, Murder and Manslaughter


Colvin et al: Remaining paras of Chapters 3 and 4 (revise last week's paras as well)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Practical Skills Task- Bail Application Due: Week 4 Friday (5 Apr 2019) 11:45 pm AEST
Week 5 Begin Date: 08 Apr 2019


Non-fatal offences against the person:

1. Assault-based offences, injury-based offences

2. Sexual Offences


Colvin et al: Chapters 5-6

Events and Submissions/Topic

Vacation Week Begin Date: 15 Apr 2019



Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 6 Begin Date: 22 Apr 2019


1. Property Offences

2. Drug Offences


Colvin et al: Chapters 7-8

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 7 Begin Date: 29 Apr 2019



  • Lack of will/accident
  • Mistake of fact
  • Ignorance of the law


Colvin et al: Chapters 11-13

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 8 Begin Date: 06 May 2019


Self defence and other defensive force


Colvin et al: Chapter 14

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 9 Begin Date: 13 May 2019



  • Provocation
  • Compulsion, Emergency and Medical Necessity


Colvin et al: Chapters 15-16

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 10 Begin Date: 20 May 2019


Mental deficiency defences:

  • Insanity
  • Diminished Responsibility
  • Automatism
  • Intoxication    


Colvin et al: Chapters 17-18

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 11 Begin Date: 27 May 2019


1. Inchoate liability

2. Secondary liability


Colvin et al: Chapters 19-20

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 12 Begin Date: 03 Jun 2019


1. Criminal process: Preliminary examination, Pre-trial applications, Trial, Verdict, Sentence and Appeal

2. Revision and exam-writing skills


Colvin et al: Chapter 22 (paras 22.1-22.6, 22.25-22.34, 22.36C)

Events and Submissions/Topic

Review/Exam Week Begin Date: 10 Jun 2019



Events and Submissions/Topic

Exam Week Begin Date: 17 Jun 2019



Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment Tasks

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Practical Skills Task- Bail Application

Task Description

This assignment will be released on Moodle. The assignment document will include a problem scenario, the assignment question, instructions and marking rubric. You will be required to undertake research of legislation and case law and apply this research to support your legal argument and conclusion. 

Assessment Due Date

Week 4 Friday (5 Apr 2019) 11:45 pm AEST

To be uploaded to Moodle via the assessment 1 upload link as a word document

Return Date to Students

Week 7 Friday (3 May 2019)

The assessment with feedback will be returned approximately two weeks after all students in this unit, including those with an approved extension, have submitted their assessment.


Assessment Criteria

You will be assessed according to the rubric provided in the assignment document.

Referencing Style


Submission Instructions
To be uploaded on Moodle via the Assessment 1 upload link in a word document.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Research and apply principles of criminal law in Queensland as expressed in legislation and case law to the analysis of criminal law problems
  • Apply skills in communication, critical legal thinking and reasoning.

Graduate Attributes
  • Communication
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy


Complete an invigilated examination

During the examination period at a CQUniversity examination centre


120 minutes

Exam Conditions
Open Book

Dictionary - non-electronic, concise, direct translation only (dictionary must not contain any notes or comments).
Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?