The University of New South Wales

go to UNSW home page

Handbook Home

Criminal Fraud and Dishonesty - JURD7378
 Law Books

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  School of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS1001 and LAWS1011; Corequisite: LAWS2311.
Excluded: JURD7594, LAWS3478, LAWS8994
Fee Band:   (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


Are identity fraud and illegal music downloading merely modern versions of the core criminal offences of theft and fraud? This course examines the law of fraud in Australia (including theft, forgery, dishonest deception and defrauding) from legal, historical and sociological perspectives and evaluates whether the law appropriately deals with modern forms of fraud, including digital forms of fraud and theft.  It considers the impact of fraud on business and the way in which legal responses to fraud have effects on the wider community.  NSW and Commonwealth offences are considered in detail with comparative analysis of approaches in other jurisdictions.

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

The specific aims of the course are:
  • To analyse the elements of the theft and fraud offences in Australia, with an emphasis on NSW and Commonwealth offences - in particular those not discussed in general criminal courses
  • To examine these laws in light of new forms of intellectual property theft and identity frauds To examine the historical development of property and dishonesty offences in order to develop a framework in which to explain the contours of the current law and the significance of any breaks from the historical model of criminalisation
  • To consider the factors that contribute to the forms and prevalence of fraud from industry, social and psychological perspectives

Main Topics

  • Forms of theft, involving both tangible and intangible property
  • Forms of fraud and the various approaches to defining fraud
  • The usefulness of dishonesty as a unifying concept in this area
  • Forgery and false instrument offences
  • Computer-based offences
  • Historical and sociological approaches to understanding fraud
  • Motivations of fraud perpetrators and methods for fraud prevention


Class participation - 20%

4,000 word Essay - 40%

Final exam - 40%

Course Texts


  • Course materials

URL for this page:

© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.