Criminal Law Practice

Criminal Law Practice

What is Criminal Law Practice

Criminal law practice covers the law, rules, practices and procedures that apply in criminal matters. The focus is on how to advise clients before and after arrest and charge and on appearing for clients in court on a bail application, a plea and sentencing matter and a short defended hearing.

Unit Purpose

Criminal practice requires highly developed skills of analysis and judgement. Whether you are acting as the prosecuting or defending lawyer, an individual’s liberty may be at stake. This places significant pressure on the lawyer.

You will complete two tasks in this subject based on real life case studies that an entry level lawyer is likely to face in practice. Each task has associated activities.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this subject you will be able to demonstrate the competence required of an entry level lawyer in the following elements of criminal law practice:

  • providing advice in criminal law matters
  • applying for bail
  • making pleas, and
  • preparing cases for trial and representing clients in minor contested matters.

Tasks and Activities

You will complete practical tasks such as advising a client and preparing a plea in mitigation. To assist your learning, you have online resources such as readings and interactive case studies. You also have a hard copy of the College’s Practice Papers, which are also available online and in eBook format.

The course timetable sets out the milestones for you to meet, and guides you through the subject. However, other than meeting dates for submission of work and assessments, you can progress through the learning resources and tasks at your own pace, when and where it suits you.

Your lecturer is your mentor and will give you individual guidance. Your lecturer will also give you feedback, and coach you to achieve the required level of competence.


To be eligible for assessment you must complete each task to a competent standard as determined by your lecturer.

The final assessment in the subject will be an oral assessment that will include:

  • presenting Task 2 to an assessor
  • reflection on your learning in the subject
  • review of the tasks you have submitted, and
  • questions arising from the learning materials.

Your performance in the oral assessment will be graded.