Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

People with cognitive and/or mental health impairments are overrepresented at all stages of the criminal justice system. For this reason, mental health literacy is essential for anyone considering a career in criminal justice. In this course, students will develop an understanding of the types of mental disorders and cognitive impairments most commonly experienced by defendants. Students will develop an understanding of current law in Victoria as well as in other Australian jurisdictions, and proposals for reform. The subject builds upon Principles of Criminal Law and explores laws and procedures relating to fitness to stand trial, the defence of mental impairment, as well as automatism, diminished responsibly and infanticide. A selection of other mental state defences will also be explored as we consider the relevance of states of mind such as fear, rage and intoxication to criminal responsibility. Defences covered may include provocation, self-defence, duress and marital coercion. Principles of sentencing relevant to assessing the criminal culpability of cognitively impaired and mentally disordered offenders will also be considered.

SchoolLa Trobe Law School

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorSuzanne O'Toole

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning ActivitiesExamination and Class participation activities - role plays, group discussions, active fact based problem solving, discussion of press reports

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

PrerequisitesLAW1CRL AND LAW1LIM


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Explain the principles governing mental disorder and criminal responsibility in Victoria and other jurisdictions in Australia;
02. Explain the interaction between psychological and psychiatric research and expert testimony and mental disorder and criminal responsibility
03. Apply these legal principles to a range of different fact situations;
04. Discuss legal issues, and to approach their resolution in a systematic manner;
05. Communicate the analysis and synthesis of legal principles appropriately and effectively;
06. Argue on different interpretations of fact and law;
07. To be able to research, locate and critically analyse a range of written sources of law, in particular, cases, statutes and government policy documents.

Subject options

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Subject not currently offered - Subject options not available.