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Criminal Law: Business and Organisations (LAWS70385)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5Not available in 2018

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Year of offerNot available in 2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70385
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Business and organisational crimes differ from the popular conception of ‘crime’ as involving the most unambiguously blameworthy sorts of conduct in which citizens can engage. This subject will examine how these crimes are dealt with under Australian rules on criminal responsibility, procedure, proof and punishment. It will also address, from a comparative perspective (including both Australian state systems and relevant overseas ones), the underlying legal, moral and policy concerns that distinguish fraud, dishonesty and organisational crimes (including regulatory offences by corporations) from ‘merely aggressive business behaviour’. The subject will be of interest to government lawyers, corporate counsel and litigators – anyone who is interested in the often blurry lines that distinguish criminal from non-criminal behaviour.

Note that this subject includes an advanced analysis of aspects of Australian criminal law. The classes and the take-home examination assume a prior knowledge of Australian criminal law as taught in the core curriculum of Australian law degrees

Principal topics include:

  • The concept of dishonesty and the boundaries of fraud
  • Corporate criminality and individual liability in an organisational setting
  • Processes, proof and sentencing for business and organisational crime
  • Examinations of particular offences in the context of one or more of the above topics.


Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject will:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the operation of the criminal law in business and organisational settings
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess statutory and common law rules regulating fraudulent and organisational crimes
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding the proper boundaries of the criminal law and the criminal justice system in business and regulatory settings
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of comparative approaches to the investigation, prosecution and punishment of crimes in business and organisational settings
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse statutory and common law rules and offences in business and regulatory settings.

Last updated: 20 October 2018