Faculty of Law

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedClayton Second semester 2013 (Day)


Criminal investigation and procedure essentially involves an examination of the elaborate and sometimes complex set of arrangements which has evolved over many hundreds of years for dealing with the processing of criminal cases against alleged offenders.

Criminal investigation and procedure involves not only a study of the process and the law relating to the various elements of that process but also a consideration of some fundamental issues of political and legal philosophy: in essence, what is the appropriate balance to be struck between the broad community interest in preventing and dealing with crime and the liberties and interests of the individuals who are caught up in the system?

The Unit will involve close scrutiny of the following topics and issues:

  • The history and development of the law and procedure in this area
  • The architecture of the criminal investigative process: police, prosecution, defence and the courts
  • Criminal investigative arrangements: investigation, rights and responsibilities
  • Arresting, charging and summonsing
  • Custodial investigations: questioning, identification, forensic procedures
  • Bail
  • Committal proceedings
  • Trial process, including the admissibility of evidence
  • Sentencing
  • Appeals


The overall objective of this unit is to acquaint students with the significant number of steps or decision-making stages of the criminal investigation process, and the law and practice in relation to those key decision-making points. Thus, they would develop a good descriptive and analytical grasp of the whole criminal investigative process.
The area will be approached not only from the standpoint of what the law is but also from a legal policy perspective. Significant emphasis will be given to the fundamental political and philosophical questions which arise in criminal investigation, especially those concerning civil liberties and community interests.


Class participation (10%), 2000 word research project (40%) and take-home examination (50%).

Chief examiner(s)