find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Unique criminal law course produces first graduates

Unique criminal law course produces first graduates

The first students of the new criminal prosecutions program at the University of Wollongong (UOW) have graduated alongside former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery QC.

The first students of the new criminal prosecutions program at the University of Wollongong (UOW) have graduated alongside former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery QC.

The first graduates of the University of Wollongong's Criminal Prosecutions Program receive Master of Laws alongside Nicholas Cowdery QC.

Last week, four students from the postgraduate course received their Master of Laws alongside the former NSW DPP, who was recognised with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.

The specialist criminal prosecutions program is unique in Australia, and offers criminal prosecutors and criminal defence practitioners a suite of subjects and hands-on opportunities designed to develop responsible and skilful advocacy.

"The course was broken into off-campus and intensive face-to-face components," said Joel Hiscox, who is employed by the ACT DPP and accepted his testamur for a Master of Laws with Distinction last week.

Students study by distance and come to the campus for three intensive days per subject, to be lectured by staff with high-level practical experience.

Teachers have so far included Cowdery, professorial fellows at UOW, senior crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC, new NSW DPP Lloyd BabbSC, and a number of judges who assisted with expert evidence and advocacy intensives.

"We really make an effort to have top quality engagement with the practising profession," said program director Professor Dan Howard, who added that an intensive on closing statements held at the Downing Centre last year was a highlight.

The course offers a number of electives including criminal trial and appellate advocacy; prosecution of transnational humanitarian law; international law; criminal jurisdiction; studies in transnational crime; comparative criminal justice and special studies in prosecutions.

"I'm not aware of any courses like this in the Asia-Pacific. There are certainly some prosecution courses in the US, most of which seem to be run through professional organisations in-house," said Howard.

"It's a very specialist program. This is a competitive area and I do think the program gives people a significant edge," he said, emphasising the importance of good training to the criminal justice system.

"We're dealing with rights and people going to jail because of what these lawyers do or don't do. We spend a lot of time on avoiding miscarriages of justice, making sure people are not being overzealous, and taking a balanced approach to prosecuting and defending."

While only nine students finished the course this semester, Howard said numbers were growing and the intake of around 22 students last semester and eight this spring means there would be an increase of graduates in the next cohort.

"I'd be happy to see a steady cohort of 25 students each semester," said Howard.

Having a law degree is usually sufficient for entry into the program, but Howard said because it is vocationally orientated the program tends to attract those currently working in prosecution offices.

"We have quite a few senior people - including a senior barrister - who have come to study because they want to keep their mind alive, and they love it," he said.

Students can elect to undertake the course as a Graduate Certificate in Law (Criminal Prosecutions) or Master of Laws (Criminal Prosecutions).

Stephanie Quine

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Unique criminal law course produces first graduates
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Oct 23 2017
Lawyers slam rushed consultation for SA repeat offenders bill
The Law Society of South Australia has expressed concern for a proposal to roll out new laws amendin...
Oct 23 2017
The pursuit of happiness in the law
A panel of legal experts have explored how to define success in the legal profession, and how lawyer...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...