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Unit of study_

LAWS1014: Civil and Criminal Procedure

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit of study aims to introduce students to civil and criminal procedure. It is concerned with the procedures relating to civil dispute resolution and criminal justice which are separate to the substantive hearing. The unit will consider the features of an adversarial system of justice and its impact on process. Recent reforms to the adversarial system of litigation will be explored. The civil dispute resolution part of the unit will cover alternative dispute resolution, the procedures for commencing a civil action, case management, gathering evidence and the rules of privilege. Criminal process will be explored by reference to police powers, bail and sentencing. The course focuses on practical examples with consideration of the applicable legislation, ethics, and contextual and theoretical perspectives.

Unit details and rules

Unit code LAWS1014
Academic unit Law
Credit points 6
LAWS1006 and LAWS1012
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Tyrone Kirchengast,
Lecturer(s) Tyrone Kirchengast,
Stacie Strong,
Tutor(s) Alexander Kuklik,
Louise Cauchi,
Rachel Killean,
Roy Williams,
Salim Farrar,
Louise Boon-Kuo,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
Final exam
2 hours (plus 30 minutes reading time) on-campus open book final exam
60% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10 LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Participation Tutorial participation
Participation in criminal procedure component
10% Ongoing n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Participation hurdle task Tutorial participation
Participation in civil procedure component
10% Ongoing n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment hurdle task Long Release Court Report
Court Report / Case Comparison Assignment
20% Week 07
Due date: 06 Apr 2023 at 15:00

Closing date: 11 Apr 2023
1200 words / 30 working days
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
hurdle task = hurdle task ?

Assessment summary

Tutorial Participation (Criminal 10% and Civil 10%, total 20%) is designed to serve two pedagogical purposes. The first is to develop one of the most crucial skills for lawyers to develop; the ability to construct an argument based on the law and to present that argument orally. The second pedagogical purpose is to allow students the opportunity to be assessed in a number of different ways.  Students have different strengths: some prefer writing; others are better at presenting information orally.  This part of the assessment is constructed around this understanding.

At the outset of Part 1 Criminal and Part 2 Civil, students will be required to sign up to be ‘on call’ for one class and marks will be based on your designated ‘on call’ class only. We expect that 5-6 students will be ‘on call’ in each class. Students will be required to be ‘on call’ once in Criminal Procedure and once in Civil Procedure (twice in total). Students who are ‘on call’ are required to have prepared for class in the usual way including having prepared responses to the tutorial questions and problems, and are required to actively participate in group activities in class and present their reasoning to the class if called upon to do so.

We are aware that some students find it difficult to make oral presentations and speak in class. We would like to encourage all students to use the supportive environment of the classroom to practice their oral communication skills. Law demands an ability to communicate both in writing and orally – you must develop an ability to make vocal contributions in front of your peers.

Long Release Court Report Assignment (20%) This court report assignment, 1200 words maximum, is an essay and should follow essay conventions, which means it should have an introduction, a central argument that is supported by material from the prescribed case(s), the course materials, and independent research. You are not required to include a bibliography. You are required to provide footnote references in accordance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. The assignment question and instructions is available on Canvas.

The Court Report will be released on Canvas in the first week of class. The deadline for submission is 3pm Thursday 6 April (AEST) The outcome of a successful Special Consideration application prior to the closing date (as specified in the Assessment Table) is an extension. Special consideration after that date may lead to an alternative assessment to be determined by the discretion of the Unit Coordinator.

Final Exam (60%) is a written, pen and paper, invigilated examination that tests your understanding of the whole unit and covers civil and criminal procedure equally. The examination will be held in the examination period.  All substantive and critical material listed in the Required Readings and material identified by your lecturer in class is examinable. It is intended that the exam will test problem solving skills, critical and analytical capacity and substantive knowledge. The outcome of a grant of special consideration application may include an alternative task, at the discretion of the Unit Coordinator.

Assessment requirement to pass a unit of study: A student must make a genuine attempt at all assessment tasks set out for this unit of study in order to obtain a Pass mark and grade (or above); otherwise an Absent Fail grade will be recorded as the student’s result for this unit of study.

Use of editors or proof-readers: The use of assistance in preparing and editing assessment tasks in this unit of study is strictly prohibited. Assistance includes human and automated writing tools (not including spell checking).

Word Limit Penalty: A piece of assessment which exceeds the prescribed word limit will attract a penalty of 10% of the total marks available for the piece of assessment for every 100 words, or part thereof. The total word count for essay and other written assessments will exclude all footnotes and any bibliography (if required).

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

  • Completely answers the question.
  • Contains striking originality of approach or analysis.
  • Demonstrates exhaustive or innovative research (where independent research required).
  • Exceptionally well written, structured and expressed.
  • Is otherwise exceptional in some way.


75 - 84

  • Completely answers the question.
  • Achieves a critical and evaluative approach to the issues.
  • Content and structure is well organised in support of the argument.
  • Demonstrates extensive research and analysis to support a well-documented argument.
  • Generally well expressed and free from errors.
  • Has a clear structure and is well articulated.


65 - 74

  • Covers main issues fairly well in answering the question.
  • Contains no significant errors
  • Demonstrates an attempted critical approach to the issues.
  • Demonstrates reasonably sound research and analysis in addressing the key issues.
  • Has a clear structure and reasonably clear expression.


50 - 64

  • Identifies the key issues, but does not follow through with a reasoned argument.
  • Contains some significant errors.
  • Displays satisfactory engagement with the key issues.
  • Offers descriptive summary of material relevant to the question.
  • Superficial use of material, and may display a tendency to paraphrase.
  • Demonstrates little evidence of in-depth research or analysis.
  • Adequate expression.
  • Overall, demonstrates the minimum level of competence in the assessment and satisfies the requirements to proceed to higher-level studies in the degree or subject area.


0 - 49

  • Does not answer the question.
  • Contains significant or numerous errors.
  • Few or no identifiable arguments.
  • Content that is inappropriate or irrelevant.
  • Lack of research or analysis.
  • Difficult or impossible to understand through poor grammar, expression or structure.
  • Overall, does not demonstrate the minimum level of competence in the assessment.

For more information see

Criteria for Assessment of Class Participation

1.  Substantive dimensions of assessment are similar to those used in assessing written work (see the Assessment Grading Guidelines at the back of this course outline).

2.  Students will be assessed on the quality rather than the quantity of their contributions. Nevertheless, it is difficult to award marks to students who are absent or who do not participate in the seminar discussion and exercises.

3.  The following descriptions are of “typical” levels of performance in certain categories of marks. The categories are based on total marks of 10 for seminar performance:

   0 - 2      Participation virtually non-existent. Little, if any, preparation apparent. Obvious lack of commitment to the unit. 

2.5 - 5      Inconsistent preparation. Evidences a poor understanding of the application of, and underlying reason for the use of, the skills emphasised in the seminars.

5.5 - 7      Reasonable level of preparation. Participates in seminar discussions, but sometimes exhibits a lack of comprehension of the topic. Adequate participation in seminar exercises

7.5 – 8     Good preparation. Either a good deal of participation of variable quality or less participation but good quality. Demonstrates a reasonable comprehension of topics under consideration.

8.5 – 10   High quality participation based upon thorough preparation. Demonstrates an excellent comprehension of topics under consideration. Evidence of capacity to develop innovative approaches to such topics.


We are aware that some students find it difficult to make oral presentations and speak in class. We would like to encourage all students to use the supportive environment of the classroom to practice their oral communication skills. Law demands an ability to communicate both in writing and orally – you must develop an ability to make vocal contributions in front of your peers.


For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The late submission of a piece of assessment, which has not been granted an extension, will attract a penalty of 10% of the total marks available for the piece of assessment per calendar day or part thereof. For example, a submission after 12 noon but before 11:59pm on the due date for submission will attract a 10% penalty. A submission after midnight of the due date for submission will attract a 20% penalty. Late Penalty does not apply to exams which will not be accepted after the deadline.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 02 Introduction to criminal procedure Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 03 Police powers and discretion Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 04 Bail Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 05 Pre-trial processes and appeals Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 06 Sentencing and punishment Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 07 Process, open justice and fairness, adversarial system of justice, case management, alternative dispute resolution, costs and ethics Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 10 Matters preceding litigation and commencing proceedings Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 11 Pleadings and particulars, gathering evidence in civil cases Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 12 Opposing disclosure - objecting to production and/or access: privilege Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 13 Class actions and trial issues Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance: All students are required to attend 70% of classes to satisfy the pass requirements for this unit of study. Students are required to participate in all classes including in-class group exercises and presentations. Failure to meet this requirement may result in a student being precluded from sitting the final assessment.

Referencing: The Sydney Law School expects you to use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (4th edition, 2018) for your footnoting style, although you should confirm this with your lecturer, and a link to the library website where this is set out comprehensively is available at

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • David Brown, David Farrier, Luke McNamara, Alex Steel, Michael Grewcock, Julia Quilter and Melanie Schwartz, Thalia Anthony, Arlie Loughnan, Criminal Laws: Materials and commentary on criminal law and process in NSW (Federation Press, 7th edn., 2020).
  • Miiko Kumar, Michael Legg, Ilija Vikovich, James Metzger, Civil Procedure in New South Wales (Thomson, 4th edn., 2020).

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. understand the procedures that administer justice in civil and criminal cases
  • LO2. appreciate the methods by which criminal and civil procedures have developed
  • LO3. identify the features, criticisms and reforms of an adversarial system of litigation
  • LO4. appreciate the requirements of open justice, fairness and ethical conduct in the legal process
  • LO5. understand the different methods of dispute resolution in criminal and civil cases
  • LO6. understand the procedures for conducting civil litigation
  • LO7. understand the procedures in the criminal justice system
  • LO8. identify the procedures for gathering evidence in civil and criminal matters
  • LO9. understand the objections to accessing and admitting potential evidence in civil and criminal cases based on client legal privilege, public interest immunity and negotiations privilege, and evidence improperly obtained
  • LO10. appreciate the grounds of appeal against civil and criminal judgments and/or verdicts.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Based on student feedback, the case comparison assessment task has been developed to expose students to summary and indictable justice.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.