LAWS202-20W (C) Whole Year 2020

Criminal Law

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 February 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 13 March 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 21 August 2020


The general principles of criminal liability. The law relating to indictable and other selected offences chargeable under New Zealand law. Procedure on indictment and summary procedure (excluding evidence).

This course will introduce students to the general principles of Criminal Law (actus reus, mens rea, inchoate offences, absolute and strict liability).  It will the consider the law relating to selected offences chargeable under New Zealand law.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of the course, students will be able to:
  • Explain the meaning and significance of the main principles of New Zealand criminal law, and the circumstances in which these principles apply;
  • Articulate the main features of criminal procedures relevant to criminal cases;
  • Apply legal reasoning and judgment to criminal law scenarios;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the law reform process through a consideration of selected area(s) of proposed reform of the criminal law;
  • Locate, evaluate and synthesize information from a range of primary and secondary sources relevant to a given research topic.
  • Critically examine issues of principle and policy raised by New Zealand's current criminal law framework and its operation in practice;
  • Produce a written legal opinion that follows the conventions set out in the New Zealand Law Style Guide;
  • Work independently and manage their time in order to meet course deadlines.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Biculturally competent and confident

      Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.


Timetable Note

Tutorials in LAWS202 will be held according to the timetable you will be given at the start of Term One.  Enrolment in Tutorials will be advised via email closer to the start of the course.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Debra Wilson


Neil Boister and Elisabeth McDonald


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Online Quiz 5%
Take Home Test 05 May 2020 20%
Essay 09 Sep 2020 15%
Final Examination 60%

Assessment will include an evening test (Tuesday 5 May) and may include a compulsory Essay and a Final Exam.

The assessment will be confirmed in the first week of lectures.

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Simester, A. P. , Brookbanks, Warren J; Principles of criminal law ; 5th ed; Thomson Reuters, 2019.

Recommended Reading

Finn, Jeremy , Mathias, Don; Criminal Procedure in New Zealand ; 2nd ed; (2015).

Finn, Jeremy et al; Adams on criminal law ; 2019 student edition; Thomson Reuters, 2019.


This is a compulsory core course for the LLB degree.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,644.00

International fee $8,000.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Limited Entry Course

Maximum enrolment is 265

For further information see Faculty of Law .

All LAWS202 Occurrences

  • LAWS202-20W (C) Whole Year 2020