Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Criminal Law Policy and Reform provides law students with the opportunity to explore cutting-edge policy and law reform issues in the area of criminal law. Good lawyers do not merely know what the law is and how to apply it to facts; they also understand how and why the law changes and are able to help shape legal change. This subject is designed to develop students' understanding and skills in these respects. The subject starts with the foundational theme of criminalisation: what conduct ought to be criminalised by the state and why? With this question in mind, students then critically examine a number of topics in criminal law in which policy debates and law reform efforts have recently featured: sex offences, public offensiveness, blasphemy and religious vilification, drug offences, abortion, euthanasia, terrorism, and corporate criminal liability. Assessment tasks will be modelled on real world examples of policy development and law reform documents.

SchoolLa Trobe Law School

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorSteven Tudor

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites LAW1LIM and LAW1CRL


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsVarious online legal and academic materialsPrescribedVariousVarious

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. By the end of this subject, students will be able to create academic work that shows an ability to follow instructions that maintains academic integrity.

Writing assignments will require an ability to understand and follow set requirements.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Writing (Writing)
Ethical Awareness (Ethical Awareness)

02. By the end of this subject, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the debates and processes involved in criminal law policy development and law reform.

Tutorial sessions- students will be discussing policy issues around current topics in criminal law. Writing assignments will require students to write realistic documents similar to what lawyers, advocates, government policy officers and advisors produce
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Critical Thinking (Critical Thinking)
Ethical Awareness (Ethical Awareness)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)
Writing (Writing)
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)

03. By the end of this subject, students will be able to write assignments that analyse and critique criminal law policy using well-developed legal research skills.

Tutorial sessions- students will be using their legal research skills i.e. local relevant materials, textual analysis and interpretation and legal argumentation, to write answers to the questions posed. Writing assignment will require independent legal research to locate relevant sources and materials
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research (Inquiry/ Research)
Information Literacy (Information Literacy)
Creative Problem-solving (Creative Problem-solving)

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2017, Week 03-09, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorSteven Tudor

Class requirements

Block Mode Week: 03 - 07
Five 8.0 hours block mode per study period on weekdays during the day from week 03 to week 07 and delivered via face-to-face.
"The subject is a 5-day "semi-intensive", with classes held 1 day per week for 5 weeks"


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Analytical assignment10 01, 02, 03
Research assignment60 01, 02, 03
Take-home examination30 01, 02, 03