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The Criminal Trial - JURD7523
 Night Landscape

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  School of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 4
EFTSL: 0.08333 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 2
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS1001 and LAWS1011; Corequisite: LAWS2311.
Excluded: LAWS3323
Fee Band:   (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


The Criminal Trial is a course that grounds the study of the criminal trial by contextualising the impact of the law of evidence and advocacy practice while building on students' basic knowledge of the doctrine, principles and rules relating to criminal litigation. It builds on and extends students' studies in Litigation 1 and 11, Criminal Law 1 and 11, Law, Lawyers and Society, Kingsford Legal Centre and The Criminal Appeal Project by providing a multidisciplinary framework that explicates the role of participants in the criminal trial process.

Outside classroom hours students must attend criminal trials in progress to observe the conduct of judges, jurors, accused, witnesses and lawyers in real cases. Classroom discussion focuses on commentaries in the course text that examine a variety of issues associated with the dynamics of criminal trials. These commentaries are from a multidisciplinary perspective, incorporating the observations of historians, psychologists, sociologists and linguists. Assessment is an essay that is a comparative analysis of the conduct and practices of participants in observed trials with what the law expects, requires or assumes exists in relation to those participants.

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Main Topics

  • Decision-makers in the criminal trial: the judge; the jury
  • The Common Law trial and the theory of case
  • Building a case for trial: theory of case, storytelling and advocacy
  • The accused and … where did our criminal trial come from?
  • Witnesses and lawyers


Court fieldwork (0%)
Criminal trial report (70%)
and either
Class preparation and participation (0 - 30%, maximisable against reflective note option)
Complete 1-3 reflective notes (10% each to a maximum total of 30%)

Course Texts

Course materials will be available from the UNSW Bookshop.

Refer to Course Outline.


Refer to Course Outline.

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© 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.