Legal Studies Syllabus Notes

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1/1/2012
John Therry Catholic High School | Year 2012 student|
content: HSC COURSE| Legal Studies Stage 6 Syllabus Notes|

content: HSC COURSE| Legal Studies Stage 6 Syllabus Notes|

Part 1 of the core:

Crime

30% of course time

Content – HSC course

Part I of the core – Crime 30% of course time

Principal focus: Through the use of a range of contemporary examples, students investigate criminal law, processes and institutions and the tension between community interests and individual rights and freedoms.

Themes and challenges to be incorporated throughout this topic: * the role of discretion in the criminal justice system * issues of compliance and non-compliance in regard to criminal law * the extent to which law reflects moral and ethical standards * the role of law reform in the criminal justice system * the extent to which the law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society * the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures in achieving justice.

Students learn about:1. The nature of crime * the meaning of crime * the elements of crime: actus reus, mens rea * strict liability offences * causation * categories of crime including offences against the person, offences against the sovereign, economic offences (property/white collar/computer), drug offences, driving offences, public order offences, preliminary crimes (attempts and conspiracy) * summary and indictable offences * parties to a crime including principal in the first degree, principal in the second degree, accessory before the fact, accessory after the fact * factors affecting criminal behaviour * crime prevention: situational and social| Students learn to: * describe the nature of crime * recognise the different categories of crime * define summary and indictable offences * examine a range of factors that may lead to criminal behaviour * investigate a range of situational and social crime prevention techniques | 2. The criminal investigation process * police powers * reporting crime * investigating crime: gathering evidence, use of technology, search and seizure, use of warrants * arrest and charge, summons, warrants * bail or remand * detention and interrogation, rights of suspects| * discuss the powers of police in the criminal process * examine the reporting and investigating of crime * assess the effectiveness of the criminal investigation process as a means of achieving justice | 3. Criminal trial process * court jurisdiction * the adversary system * legal personnel: magistrate, judge, police prosecutor, Director of Public Prosecution, Public Defenders * pleas, charge negotiation * legal representation, including legal aid * burden and standard of proof * use of evidence, including witnesses * defences to criminal charges: * complete defences * partial defences to murder * the role of juries, including verdicts| * describe the role of courts in the criminal justice process * discuss the use of the adversary system as a means of achieving justice * examine the role of legal representation in the criminal trial * assess the use of defences to criminal charges in achieving justice * evaluate the effectiveness of the jury system in the criminal trial * assess the effectiveness of the criminal trial process as a means of achieving justice | 4. Sentencing and punishment * statutory and judicial guidelines * the purposes of punishment: deterrence (specific and general), retribution, rehabilitation, incapacitation * factors affecting a sentencing decision: aggravating and mitigating circumstances * the role of the victim in sentencing * appeals * types of penalties including: no conviction recorded, caution, fine, bond, suspended sentence, probation, criminal infringement notice,...
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