Criminal Liability (LAWS6034)


In this unit, students will examine the ways in which criminal liability is established, and the central factors governing liability; analyse the general principles of criminal law, constituent elements of particular offences and the definition of a range of defences from historical, theoretical and practical context perspectives, with a special focus on male violence; and gain an appreciation of the tensions and perceived prejudices inherent in the criminal law and the criminal justice system.
The unit will cover the following: phenomenon of criminal law; violence; capacity; proof; attempts and accessorial liability; offences: sexual and non-sexual assault, murder and manslaughter; defences: provocation and self-defence, 'insanity' and substantial impairment, automatism, infanticide, intoxication, necessity and duress.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x2-hr lecture/week


3000wd essay (50%) and 2hr open-book exam (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Additional Information

Core unit for MCrim students. This unit is an introduction to aspects of criminal law for non-lawyers and is therefore not available to students who have completed a law degree or studies in criminal lawfrom a common law jurisdiction.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.