Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research

Teaching organisation

4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This level four unit contributes to the development of:

  • advanced theoretical and technical knowledge in the field of International Criminal Law
  • advanced, cognitive, technical and communication skills and the ability to apply these to complex Administrative law problems
  • advanced research and writing skills.
This unit introduces students to the key developments in international criminal law as well as the international mechanisms for the enforcement of international criminal law. The unit will examine how international criminal tribunals function with a particular focus on the International Criminal Court, as the first and only permanent international criminal justice institution in the world. The unit includes comparative analysis of the operation of international criminal law in different domestic contexts. The unit also introduces students to the nature of transnational crime, including trafficking in persons, drug trafficking, piracy and terrorism, and the various institutions and legal frameworks that have evolved to address trans-border criminal activity.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome Description
LO1Describe sources of international criminal law and how to identify and apply them in context
LO2Demonstrate an understanding of the international criminal law framework, the key international criminal courts and the practice of international criminal law in international and domestic jurisdictions
LO3Analyse and interpret key documents which codify and illustrate international criminal law, through their application to hypothetical case scenarios


Topics will include: 


1.Introduction to International Criminal Law 

a.Law Making at Domestic and International Levels 

2.International Crimes 

a.War crimes 

b.Crimes against humanity 


3.Transnational Crime 


b.Human Trafficking 

c.Drug Trafficking 


e.Transnational Organised Crime 

f.Emerging International Crimes 



6.International Criminal Court 

7.UN criminal Justice Organisations 

8.Australian approaches to the implementation of international criminal law 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode: Lectures, tutorials, electronic consultation, library tasks and presentations or Online lectures and activities.  


Duration: 3 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent. Students are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit. 


This level four elective unit allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law in an International context and  to develop advanced research skills.  


Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content and to practice advanced research skills. 


The unit is designed to be delivered in intensive, weekly or online. We have taken a multimodal learning approach to provide accessibility and flexibility to our students and a student-focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising Canvas.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy is designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law, and to develop research capacity.  


The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed.  


Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

This will require making a VIDEO comprising a 90-second “elevator pitch” for a topic chosen from the list of topics presented on page 3 of the unit outline (under content). 

This video will serve as an introduction to an area of criminal law that will be studied in this unit. 


(If studying in Rome this task will be completed before leaving  for Rome.) 


LO1, LO2

Research Essay 2,500 words (see rubric below) 


This assessment task is broken up into two parts: 


Part A: is an Annotated Bibliography  

Part B: is the Research Essay 

(30%+50%) = 


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

Roger O’Keefe, International Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, 2015) 

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs