LAW 201 - Criminal Law

Credit points: 30 points
Offered: Full-year
Contact hours: Lectures - 3 hours per week, tutorials, 8 tutorials - 1 hour per fortnight
Course Director: Professor Julia Tolmie (S1) / Dr Katherine Doolin (S2)
Prerequisites: LAW 121G & LAW 131
Corequisite: LAW 298 or 299

Course description

This is an introduction to the principles and practice of the New Zealand criminal law.

Content outline

This course considers the purposes of criminal law and punishment. The principles of criminal responsibility are analysed, together with an examination of the defences to criminal charges, also known as the doctrines of criminal law. A selection of serious offences is examined in detail, including homicide, sexual violation and selected property offences.


  • 45 minute open-book test: 20%
  • 1500 word tutorial essay: 10%
  • 3 hour open-book exam: 70%

Both the test and the final exam are open book. This means that you may, if you wish, bring into the test and exam and refer to any materials such as casebooks, textbooks and study notes.

Students are required to attend six one-hour tutorials plus an oral submission. Students are required to submit a court observation which is marked on a pass/fail basis (no marks attached).

Prescribed text

Simester and Brookbanks, Principles of Criminal Law, 4th edition, Thomson/Reuters, 2012