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Part 1 of the core: Crime 30% of course time

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Part 1 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.
Outcomes

H1. identifies and applies legal concepts and terminology

H2. describes and explains key features and the relationship between Australian and international law

H3. analyses the operation of the domestic and international legal systems

H4. evaluates the effectiveness of the legal system in addressing issues

H5. explains the role of law in encouraging cooperation and resolving conflict, as well as initiating and responding to change

H6. assesses the nature of the interrelationship between the legal system and society

H7. evaluates the effectiveness of the law in achieving justice

H8. locates, selects, organises, synthesises and analyses legal information from a variety of sources including legislation, cases, media, international instruments and documents

H9. communicates legal information using well-structures and logical arguments

H10. analyses differing perspectives and interpretations of legal information and issues

Themes and challenges to be incorporated throughout the 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.




Assessment tasks: Crime media file and issue research.



Students learn about:

Students learn to:

Suggested teaching and learning strategies

Themes and challenges

  1. The nature of crime




Note: The Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC) from the State Library of NSW has examples of cases, legislation, articles and research suggestions for students available online. Students should be encouraged to visit their website throughout the study of this topic.




  • the meaning of crime







Using examples from the media, discuss which news events are considered criminal matters.

Discuss the meaning of crime, including:



  • who decides what is a crime

  • why some actions that were once considered criminal no longer fit this definition (homosexuality, witchcraft, etc.)

  • why some actions such as domestic violence have been criminalised.

  • the extent to which law reflects moral and ethical standards


  • the elements of crime: actus reus, mens rea








Explanation of the terms actus reus and mens rea, outlining their importance in criminal law. Use media articles to illustrate. Students identify the actus reus and mens rea in a list of scenarios.




  • strict liability offences







Brainstorm: Why is it not always necessary to have mens rea present? Students consider exemptions of mental illness, age of criminal understanding (doli incompax). Does this help to achieve justice?

Define strict liability.

Discussion of why strict liability offences do not require mens rea, and the implications for justice for victims, offenders and society.



  • the extent to which the law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society




  • causation







Using cases such as R v Blaue [1975] 3 All ER 446, March v Stramare (1991) 171 CLR 506 (internet search), explain causation.



  • categories of crime (offences against the person, offences against the sovereign, economic offences (property/white collar/computers), drug offences, driving offences, public order offences, preliminary crimes (attempts and conspiracy)


  • recognise the different categories of crime



Define categories of crime. Use examples from media reports and/or cases to illustrate each. Form groups where students research each crime category.

Quick quiz: Students match a list of crimes to their correct category.




  • summary and indictable offences




  • define summary and indictable offences




Outline the essential differences between summary and indictable offences.

Written response: a paragraph distinguishing summary and indictable offences.

Students are given a list of crimes and they indicate the court jurisdiction for each.



Resources: The Law Handbook, Redfern Legal Centre.




  • parties to a crime including principal in the first degree, principal in the second degree, accessory before the fact, accessory after the fact




Define parties to a crime and use news reports to illustrate.

Class discussion – why does the law differentiate between parties involved in crimes?

Role-play: In groups of 4–5, students briefly devise and act out a scenario indicating the different parties involved in a crime. The rest of the class correctly identifies the involvement of each party.



  • factors affecting criminal behaviour





  • examine a range of factors that may lead to criminal behaviour




Students list reasons why people choose not to break the law, eg fear of punishment, against personal morality, etc
Discussion on factors that may lead to criminal behaviour (eg self-interest, mental illness, religious/philosophical reasons).

Discuss why criminal offences like breaching copyright by downloading material and speeding are common and widespread.

Examine a selection of media articles and/or cases and suggest possible reasons for criminal behaviour
Resources: Media articles

Alternative Law Journal, June 2008 outlines the case of R v Law & Ors [2008] NTCCA 4 (The Pine Gap 4), a group of Christian pacifists who broke into Pine Gap for religious reasons.


  • issues of compliance and non-compliance in regard to criminal law




  • crime prevention: situational and social




  • investigate a range of situational and social crime prevention techniques




Define situational and social crime prevention, noting as examples of law reform.

Students list as many examples of situational crime prevention as they can find (such as cameras above ATMs) and indicate where these can be found. What situational crime prevention techniques can be observed around the school?



Discussion and note-making on social crime prevention strategies, such as anti-truancy and school student retention programs.

Class quiz/review of learning – nature of crime

Using the syllabus, students devise true/false questions, matching terms quizzes, multiple-choice and short-answer questions to review learning.


  • the role of law reform in the criminal justice system




  1. The criminal investigation process










  • police powers







Guest speaker from NSW Police to explain police powers to students.

Discussion and note-making:

  • recent changes to police powers and reasons for these

  • the extent to which these changes reflect the standards of society

  • the extent to which police powers are discretionary (eg whether to investigate a crime, whether to give a warning or arrest, choice of charges)

  • to what extent these powers maintain a balance between victims and accused.

  • the extent to which law reflects moral and ethical standards




  • the role of discretion in the criminal justice system










Extension work: Discuss police powers in relation to terrorism. Examples could include the treatment of Dr Haneef, and special powers for the APEC conference in 2008.

Resources: www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au,


The Law Handbook, Redfern Legal Centre




  • the extent to which the law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society







Written response: Students brainstorm a scaffold and individually complete the following:

‘Discuss the powers of police in the criminal process’.

Support your answer with examples from media, cases, legislation and/or reports.





  • reporting crime

  • investigating crime:

  • gathering evidence

  • examine the reporting and investigating of crime




Mind map the steps involved in reporting and investigating crime, to be completed by the end of this section.

Resources: www.police.nsw.gov.au, Acts and legislation, Code of Practice for CRIME (custody, rights, investigation, management and evidence).

The Law Handbook, Redfern Legal Centre outlines the process of police powers, arrest, interrogation and bail.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics website www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au has interesting data available for this topic.



  • the role of discretion in the criminal justice system




  • use of technology






Brainstorm: What is the role of technology in criminal investigations? Compare the TV version with the reality. Students consider cost (resource efficiency), reliability, the rights of the accused, the victim and society.











Media research: Students look at cases such as

R v Boney (unreported, Moree District Court, 20 October 2000) and consider the role of DNA testing. Students consider the balance between the rights of the victims, offenders and society, and the role of law reform as technology evolves.




  • arrest and charge, summons, warrants

  • discuss the powers of police in the criminal process

Define arrest, charge, summons, warrants.
Guest speaker from NSW Police to explain arrest process.




  • search and seizure

  • use of warrants




Examine the laws regarding search and seizure and consider the role of police discretion.

Construct a scaffold for the topic:

Discuss the extent to which laws regarding search and seizure balance the rights of the accused, victims and society. Support your answer with specific evidence from media, cases, legislation and/or reports.




  • bail or remand







Define and outline the role of bail and remand.

Media file to examine articles and cases which illustrate examples of remand, bail and law reform.


  • the extent to which law reflects moral and ethical standards






Discuss the legal requirements from the point of view of achieving a balance between the rights of the victim, offender and society, and the role of discretion.

Debate or forum topic: Bail should always be allowed under the presumption of innocence.




  • the role of discretion in the criminal justice system

  • detention and interrogation, rights of suspects




  • assess the effectiveness of the criminal investigation process as a means of achieving justice

Examine the regulations regarding detention and interrogation, and the rights of suspects. To what extent do these regulations balance the rights of victims, offenders and society?










Extension work: Students compare the rights of the offender under the criminal investigation process with those suspected of terrorist activities. In a table form, highlight the differences, and account for these differences.

Written response: Demonstrating integration of critical analysis, construct a scaffold for the following:

‘Assess the effectiveness of the criminal investigation process as a means of achieving justice’. Use examples of cases, legislation, media reports or documents to support your answer.










Resources: The Law Handbook, Redfern Legal Centre

Hot Topics, No. 58, Terrorism, 2006

www.police.nsw.gov.au, Acts and legislation, Code of Practice for CRIME (custody, rights, investigation, management and evidence)

www.bocsar.nsw.gov.au NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics

Forensic services group – NSW police force



www.police.nsw.gov.au/about_us/structure/specialist_
operations/forensic_services

Forensic scientists www.policensw.com/info/forensic/forensic1.html



Crimes (Forensic Procedures) Act 2000

www.austlii.edu.au/au/legisl/nsw/consol_act

  • the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures in achieving justice



  • the extent to which law reflects moral and ethical standards










Class quiz: Review the criminal investigation process through the use of multiple-choice, true/false questions, matching terms and short-answer questions.




3. Criminal trial process









  • court jurisdiction





Pre-test: Students complete a blank court hierarchy and personnel diagram from memory of the Preliminary course. Courts should include: coroners, children’s, drug court, youth drug court, local, district and supreme court. This is checked against the correct version, and students make any adjustments necessary.



  • the adversary system







Brainstorm and construct a table indicating the advantages and disadvantages of the adversarial system in achieving justice. Consider resource efficiency, truth as an aim, the passive nature of judges who are not able to interview witnesses (as opposed to inquisitorial system), transparency of the process, jury by peers.




  • legal personnel:
    magistrate, judge, police prosecutor, Director of Public Prosecution, Public Defenders




Extension work: Make a comparison between the adversarial and inquisitorial systems.

Research: Investigate the role of legal personnel in the criminal trial and construct a mind map that will assist in revision.

Resources: www.odpp.nsw.gov.au

www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au

  • role of discretion in the criminal justice system




  • the extent to which law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society

  • pleas, charge negotiation


  • discuss the use of the adversary system as a means of achieving justice

Teacher outlines the purpose of pleas, and defines charge bargaining.

Students consider the advantages and disadvantages to charge bargaining and construct a table to illustrate. Students may wish to consider resource efficiency, role of discretion, rights of victims and accused, community expectations, and to what extent charge negotiation achieves justice.



  • the role of discretion in the criminal justice system







Resources: The Law Handbook, Redfern Legal Centre

‘Too many plea bargains: Assoc’, Police News, Journal of the NSW Police Association, February 2008.

The submission from the NSW Police Association to the NSW Sentencing Council regarding sentence discounts www.pansw.org.au/Plea_Bargaining.pdf





  • legal representation, including legal aid

  • examine the role of legal representation in the criminal trial

Guest speaker from Law Society.

Research the role of legal representation in the criminal trial, including the responsibilities of legal representatives, who is entitled to legal representation, and the role of and eligibility for legal aid.

Resources: The Law Handbook, Redfern Legal Centre

Hot Topics, No. 46, You and Your Lawyer, 2004


www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au


  • the role of law reform in the criminal justice system
    the extent to which the law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society

  • burden and standard of proof




Outline the burden and standard of proof and explain their importance to the criminal trial process.

Resources: The Law Handbook, Redfern Legal Centre

  • the extent to which law reflects moral and ethical standards

  • use of evidence, including witnesses




Examine the rules of evidence summary page provided in The Law Handbook and brainstorm reasons as to why these rules exist.

Students also consider examples of law reform in this area such as changes to how victims of sexual assault or domestic violence may give evidence, and how these rules balance the rights of victims, offenders and society.



  • the role of law reform in the criminal justice system

  • defences to criminal charges:

  • complete defences

  • partial defences to murder




  • assess the use of defences to criminal charges in achieving justice

Brainstorm the purposes of criminal defences, and define complete and partial defences. Use examples from media articles. Include the defences of mental illness, self-defence, consent, necessity, duress, provocation, substantial impairment of responsibility.



  • the role of law reform in the criminal justice system


  • the extent to which the law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society







Research examples of cases where defences have been used, and discuss any controversies in terms of society’s expectations or victim’s rights. Consider any examples of recent or suggested law reform.










Written response: Scaffold as a class and write an individual response to:

Using examples of cases, legislation, media or reports, assess the use of defences to criminal charges in achieving justice.’



Resources: The Law Handbook, Redfern Legal Centre

www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au

media file



www.legalanswers.sl.nsw.gov.au/students_teachers/




  • role of juries, including verdicts




  • 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

Pre-test/review of earlier work: what is the role of the jury in a criminal trial? Who is eligible for jury duty? Discuss advantages and disadvantages of the jury system.

Research jury law reform, such as majority verdicts in NSW criminal trials, and examine controversial contemporary cases involving juries (could include the Skaf case, K Brothers case, first aborted Gordon Wood trial, district court trial aborted due to jury playing sudoku). Examine recent examples of law reform or proposed law reform and consider the extent to which the law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society.


Scaffold the following as a class, and students research and locate relevant cases, legislation, media/reports. Discuss findings in class. Students then write an individual response to:

‘Evaluate the effectiveness of the jury system in the criminal trial. Support your answer with cases, legislation, media reports and/or other reports.’



  • the extent to which the law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society

4. Sentencing and
punishment




  • discuss factors that affect sentencing decisions, including the purposes of punishment and the role of the victim









  • statutory and judicial guidelines

  • the purposes of punishment: deterrence (specific and general), retribution, rehabilitation, incapacitation

Differentiate between statutory and judicial guidelines, and outline the purposes of each. Discuss the reasons for the use of guidelines, and their strengths and limitations.

  • the extent to which law reflects moral and ethical standards

Outline the differing purposes of punishment.

Discuss, using examples of cases and media reports, the purpose of punishments given.






  • factors affecting a sentencing decision: aggravating and mitigating circumstances




  • the role of the victim in sentencing





Define aggravating and mitigating factors.

Discuss reasons why these may be considered in sentencing.

Examine cases where aggravating and mitigating factors have been considered in sentencing.



Outline the changing role of the victim in sentencing, including the introduction of victim impact statements and the Charter of Rights.

Discuss reasons for this changing role of victims.

Examine websites of support groups for victims of crime.

Resources: www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/voc



  • the role of discretion in the criminal justice system



  • the extent to which the law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society

  • appeals







Review the purpose and process of appeals.

Discuss, using examples, the role of appeals as an effective tool for justice for victims, offenders and society

Resources: Hot Topics, No. 55, Sentencing, 2005




  • types of penalties including: no conviction recorded, caution, fine, bond, suspended sentence, probation, criminal infringement notice, penalty units, community service order, home detention, periodic detention, forfeiture of assets, imprisonment, diversionary programs

  • evaluate the effectiveness of different types of penalties, including diversionary programs

Class summary: Using butcher’s paper, students work in pairs to define each type of penalty, and identify the types of crimes or offender where these penalties may be appropriately used. Students also identify relevant cases, legislation or media for each. Students present their findings to the class, and students/teacher offer additional suggestions/corrections as well advantages and disadvantages of each penalty.

Students, in pairs, devise five multiple-choice, or mix-and-match questions to be shared with the class.

Group work: Provide students with a variety of crime scenarios. Students recommend the penalty to be given based on their knowledge and understanding of the law and justify their decision to the class.


  • the issues of compliance and non-compliance










Brainstorm an extended response:

Evaluate the effectiveness of different types of penalties, including diversionary programs. Consider the criteria to be used to evaluate this question, and the role of law reform. Cases, media, legislation or reports should also be used to support the response.

Resources: Hot Topics, No. 55, Sentencing, 2005

Gruseit, Forell, McCaron, Taking Justice Into Custody, The Legal Needs of Prisoners, Law and Justice Foundation, 2008.



The Law Handbook, Redfern Legal Centre.

Media search.



  • the role of law reform in the criminal justice system
  • alternative methods of sentencing including circle sentencing, restorative justice





  • assess the roles of alternative methods of sentencing




Outline alternative methods of sentencing. Consider reasons why these have been increasingly used in the criminal justice system, including the high rates of recidivism and the failure of existing punishment.

Examine media and cases to assess the role of alternative methods of sentencing as a way of achieving justice.

  • the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures in achieving justice







Resources: Crime Prevention Circle Sentencing Factsheet, www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/cpd/ll_cpd.nsf/pages/CPD_projects

‘Inside the Circle’, Four Corners, ABC, 2005.



Hot Topics, No. 55, Sentencing, 2005

Media search.






  • post-sentencing considerations, including security classification, protective custody, parole, preventative detention, continued detention, sexual offenders registration, deportation

  • examine the implications of post-sentencing considerations in achieving justice

  • evaluate the effectiveness of sentencing and punishment as a means of achieving justice

Describe post-sentencing decisions and outline how and why these are used. Include the role of law reform, and the influence of the media.

Discuss the implications for achieving justice for victims, offenders and society. Support discussion with reference to cases, legislation, media and reports.


Debate: ‘When considering sentencing and punishment, the protection of society is more important than the rights of individuals’.








Resources: Hot Topics, No. 55, Sentencing, 2005

Gruseit, Forell, McCaron, Taking Justice Into Custody, The Legal Needs of Prisoners, Law and Justice Foundation, 2008



www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UWSLawRw/

www.smh.com.au

The Law Handbook, Redfern Legal Centre

Written response: Scaffold and complete an extended response on the following:

‘Evaluate the effectiveness of sentencing and punishment as a means of achieving justice’. Use cases, legislation, media and reports to support your answer.



Review: multiple-choice, matching terms, true/false and short answer questions.




5. Young offenders










  • age of criminal responsibility




  • rights of children when questioned or arrested

  • discuss the issues surrounding the age of criminal responsibility

Examine the age of criminal responsibility (doli incompax), and note the differences in court reporting, procedures and operation.

Use media to examine current issues, particularly regarding young offenders and violent crime, and areas of law reform.


  • the extent to which the law reflects moral and ethical standards

  • Children’s Court – procedures and operation

  • penalties for children

  • alternatives to court

  • explain why young offenders are treated differently in the criminal justice system

Explain the reasons for the differences in treatment of, and penalties for, adults and young offenders. Discuss the extent to which these differences balance the rights of victims, offenders and society.

Investigate and report back to class about alternatives to court such as diversionary schemes.

  • the extent to which the law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society







  • assess the effectiveness of the criminal justice system when dealing with young offenders

Scaffold the following in class and model an introduction and conclusion. Students to write an individual response to:

‘Assess the effectiveness of the criminal justice system when dealing with young offenders’. Support your answer with examples from media, cases, legislation and/or reports.



Resources: NSW Commission for Children and Young People www.kids.nsw.gov.au

NSW Attorney General www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au

NSW Department of Juvenile Justice www.djj.nsw.gov.au

Children and Young People, Reform, Winter 2008, Issue 92, ALRC


Hot Topics, No. 49, Juvenile Justice, 2004.

Four Corners, 2009, Kids Doing Time, www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20090824/juveniles


  • the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures in achieving justice

6. International crime










  • categories of international crime, including:

  • crimes against the international community

  • transnational crimes

  • define international crime

  • describe the various measures used to deal with international crime

Using a range of media articles on international crime, brainstorm a definition of international crime and its characteristics. Categorise these crimes.

Pre-test (from the Preliminary course) the international legal system and the limitations sovereignty places on measures aimed at resolving international criminal issues.




  • the extent to which law reflects moral and ethical standards




  • dealing with international crime:

  • domestic and international measures

  • limitations




  • evaluate the effectiveness of the domestic and international legal systems in dealing with international crime

Describe the legal measures available to deal with international crime. Devise a webquest on the international legal system.

Using case studies, discuss the effectiveness of the domestic and international legal systems in dealing with international crime.


Debate the topic:

‘The international legal system is ineffective in dealing with international crime’.


Review: Students devise multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions and longer responses based on the Crime syllabus, post on the school intranet and test themselves.


  • issues of compliance and non-compliance in regard to criminal law




  • the extent to which the law balances the rights of victims, offenders and society







Resources: Joyner, C 2005, International law in the 21st century: rules for global governance, Rowman and Littlefield, Lanham, MD.

Hot Topics, No. 69, International Law, 2009.

Extension reading (Literacy): Robertson, G 2006, Crimes against humanity: the struggle for global justice, 3rd edn, The New Press, NY.



www.un.org

www.theguardian.co.uk

Websites for the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court, War Crimes Tribunal of Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda.









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