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APPLY CRIMINAL LAW. QLD595JUS01A. Materials. Online unit guide includes Readings Videos Legislation. Legislation. Criminal Code Act 1899 Regulatory Offences Act 1985 Summary Offences Act 2005. How to study Law. Do not try and commit it all to memory

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apply criminal law



  • Online unit guide includes
  • Readings
  • Videos
  • Legislation
  • Criminal Code Act 1899
  • Regulatory Offences Act 1985
  • Summary Offences Act 2005
how to study law
How to study Law
  • Do not try and commit it all to memory
  • Understand where to find the relevant information
  • Access electronic information whenever possible
study tips
Study Tips
  • Read the unit guide and associated readings
  • Start to attempt the review questions
  • Attempting the questions will start your research and learning process
legal concepts

Legal Concepts

Greek Goddess of Justice

the criminal justice system
The Criminal Justice System
  • Investigative – police
  • Adjudicative – courts
  • Correctional – custodial/community
what is law
  • Rules
  • Rights & responsibilities
  • Reflection of society
external influences
External Influences
  • Internal practices and procedures
  • External integration
    • Legislation
    • Common law (case law)
    • Judicial practice and procedure
    • Information sharing
sources of law
  • Custom
  • Common Law – court decisions
  • Statute Law – parliament
  • Delegated legislation
common law
Common Law
  • Commonlawisalsoknownascaselawandarisesfromjudicialdecisions
  • Precedent(staredecisis)isafeatureofcommonlawsystems
  • Precedentmeansthatcourtsmustfollowdecisionsofhighercourtswithinthesamehierarchy
  • Precedentisdependantuponcaselawjudgements
the structure of the australian court system
The structure of the Australian court system
  • The Australian Court System is based on a hierarchy of court
  • Bottom level – Magistrate/ Local courts presided over by magistrates; minor matters civil and minor criminal
  • Intermediate level – District Courts – judge; important civil matters; serious crime
  • Superior courts – Supreme Courts – judge/s; no limit on civil and criminal jurisdiction; hears appeals
  • High Court – pinnacle of Australian legal system; no appeal from its decisions
  • The formal legal rules made by Parliament
  • It is the dominant source of law
  • A necessary requirement of contemporary society
  • Proactive
the legislative process
  • A set procedure is followed:
  • Commencing in the House of Representatives –
  • 1st Reading – proposed Bill presented
  • 2nd Reading – speech & debate
  • Committee Stage
  • 3rd Reading – if approved moves to the Senate & same procedure followed
  • Royal Assent
common law and legislation
Common Law and Legislation
  • Commonlawprinciplessubordinatetolegislation
  • Commonlawneedsdisputesbeforethecourtstodevelopprinciples–(DonoghuevStevenson)
  • Legislationplaysareformingandmodernisinginfluence
  • Legislationisthevoiceofdemocracy–judgesnotaccountable
delegated legislation
Delegated Legislation
  • The power to make legislation remains with the Federal Parliament
  • This power can be delegated to the States
  • It is primarily in relation to matters that are insignificant to the Federal Government but of importance to the State Government
legal categories
Public Law

Criminal Law

Administrative Law

Constitutional Law

Private Law

Contract Law

Trust Law

Family Law


Tort Law

Company Law

Legal Categories
legal personnel
  • Judge
  • Associate
  • Jury
  • Solicitor
  • Barrister
  • Depositions Clerk

Inside a Magistrates Court Room

Virtual Tour

Inside District and Supreme Courts

Virtual Tour

the adversarial process

Prosecution commences proceedings

Accused/defendant answers the charge

Primarily freedom at risk


Plaintiff commences proceedings

Respondent/defendant answers the claim

Primarily money at risk

standard of proof


On the plaintiff on the balance of probabilities

On the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt

how to read case law
How to read case law
  • Case law is court judgments
  • Transcript of the proceedings of the matter
  • Written decision of the presiding decision maker
  • Written order of the court

Case Law databases

case title
Case title
  • The prosecuting/complaining party name is first
  • The defending/accused/responding party name is second
  • ‘v’ for versus is in between and is pronounced as ‘and’
  • Cases starting with ‘R’ rather than a party name indicate criminal prosecution by the Crown (currently Regina)
locating legislation
Locating Legislation
  • On introduction page select Home
  • Then select Acts SL, as in force
  • Choose ‘C’ from the alphabetical listing box
  • Scroll down the page until you find the Criminal Code Act 1899 and select
  • Parts
  • Chapters
  • Sections
  • ASectionisthemainbuildingblockofanact.Sectionsthemselvesarebrokendownintosmallerparts:
    • SubSection
    • Paragraph
    • SubParagraph








Section and title




alternative location
Alternative location
  • National website, includes all State and Federal Legislation
  • Select Queensland under Cases and Legislation on the left hand side
  • Select Queensland Consolidated Acts under Queensland Legislation
  • Select ‘C’ from the alphabet listing
  • Locate and select the Criminal Code Act 1899
  • NOT as user friendly
navigating legislation
Navigating legislation
  • Utilise the find function to locate relevant sections by entering specific offence titles
  • Utilise the index on the left hand side to scroll through chapters and sections according to chapter and section numbers.
finding offences
Finding offences
  • What do you do to locate the penalty for murder in the Criminal Code Act 1899?
    • Enter ‘murder’ into the find box
    • Select ‘next’ or ‘previous’ on the find box to locate different uses of the word ‘murder’ in the legislation
    • Locate the relevant section that specifies the penalty
    • Answer the question with the set penalty and the section number to form the habit of locating and learning section numbers.
more offences
More offences
  • What do you do to find the elements of the offence of stealing a car?
    • Enter ‘steal’ or ‘steal car’ into the find box
  • What do you do if the find box does not locate the offence?
    • Enter an alternative word, like ‘motor vehicle’
types of offences
Types of offences
  • Indictable offences
  • Summary offences
  • Regulatory offences
  • Simple offences
  • Explanation OR excuse?
  • Can you excuse any behaviour that breaks the law?
  • Can you explain why you behaved in a manner that broke the law?
  • Will society accept your explanation?
  • Presumption of law is something that is accepted as a fact in the absence of the evidence.
  • Rebuttable presumption is something that is accepted as a fact until evidence proves otherwise
  • Irrebuttable presumption is something that is accepted as a fact regardless of any evidence that proves otherwise
  • Evidence is provided to prove a fact
  • It can support a contested fact
  • It can disprove an accepted fact
rules of evidence
Rules of evidence
  • Hearsay – evidence must be attested to first hand and not overheard
  • Expert – evidence that is accepted as expert in the area and therefore the knowledge is unquestionable
  • Admissable – allowed in court
  • Inadmissable – not allowed for various reasons
how a criminal matter gets to court and what happens there
How a criminal matter gets to court and what happens there
  • Police investigate matter
  • Arrest suspect
  • Charge suspect with commission of crime
  • Bail applied for by person charged
  • In summary matter or by election of accused, trial by magistrate
  • Indictable offence requires judge and jury
  • Accused asked to plead
  • Lawyer for prosecution presents case
  • Lawyer for accused presents case
  • Judge or jury makes finding of fact
  • Judge applies law
  • Judge makes order

ELEMENTISATIONDiscuss, select offences from Criminal Code Act and provide examples of how to elementiseSee page 27 onwards in unit guide