8       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, penalty units, community service order, home detention, periodic detention, forfeiture of assets, imprisonment, diversionary programs

 

alternative methods of sentencing including circle sentencing, restorative justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

assess the roles of alternative methods of sentencing

 

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

 

5. Young offenders

 

age of criminal responsibility

the rights of children when questioned or arrested

Children’s Court – procedures and operation

penalties for children

alternatives to court

 

 

 

discuss the issues surrounding the  age of criminal responsibility

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

 

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

 

6. International crime

 

categories of international crime, including:

crimes against the international community

transnational crimes

dealing with international crime:

domestic and international measures

limitations.

 

 

define international crime

 

describe the various measures used to deal with international crime

 

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

 

 

 

 


Part II of the core: Human rights                                               20% of course time

 

 

Principal focus: Through the use of a range of contemporary examples, students investigate the notion of human rights and assess the extent to which legal systems embody such human rights and promote them in practice.

 

 

Themes and challenges to be incorporated throughout this topic:

the changing understanding of the relationship between state sovereignty and human
rights

issues of compliance and non-compliance in relation to human rights

the development of human rights as a reflection of changing values and ethical standards

the role of law reform in protecting human rights

the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures in protecting human rights.

 

 

Students learn about:

 

1.   The nature and development of human rights

 

the definition of human rights

 

developing recognition of human rights

the abolition of slavery

trade unionism and labour rights

universal suffrage

universal education

self-determination 

environmental rights

peace rights

 

formal statements of human rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

 

Students learn to:

 

 

 

define human rights

 

 

outline how human rights have changed and developed over time

 

investigate  the evolving recognition and importance of universal human rights

 

 

 

examine major human rights documents and explain their contribution to the development of human rights

 

 

 

2.    Promoting and enforcing human rights

 

In the international community:

state sovereignty

the roles of :

the United Nations

intergovernmental organisations

courts, tribunals and independent

statutory authorities

non-government organisations

the media

 

In Australia:

the incorporation of human rights into domestic law

the roles of:

the Constitution, including division of powers and separation of powers

statute law

common law

courts and tribunals

non-government organisations

the media

a Charter of Rights (arguments for and against)

 

 

 

assess the role of state sovereignty in promoting and enforcing human rights

 

 

evaluate the effectiveness of international responses in promoting and enforcing human rights

 

 

 

 

outline how human rights are incorporated into Australian domestic law

 

evaluate the effectiveness of Australian responses in promoting and enforcing human rights

 

discuss the arguments for and against a Charter of Rights for Australia

 

3.    Investigate a contemporary issue which illustrates the promotion and/or enforcement
of human rights.

 

Issues could include:

genocide

treatment of refugees

asylum seekers

child soldiers

abuse of children

torture

capital punishment

arbitrary detention

religious discrimination

discrimination against women

exploitation of workers

human trafficking and slavery

limitations on free speech.

 

 

 

 

 

investigate a contemporary human rights issue and evaluate the effectiveness of legal and non-legal responses to the issue.