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Australian Criminal Justice System

Assessment 3: Essay

(1,500 words) Worth: 40%


Q1. Discuss the character that the media plays in influencing public perceptions of crime, the different stages of the criminal justice process, and criminal justice policy.  In your discussion, you might choose to focus on the unequal treatment afforded to certain minorities in our community.  Illustrate your arguments by using a contemporary example (s).

Q2. Discuss the role of discretion at one or more stages of the Australian criminal justice system (investigation, pre-trial, sentencing, punishment, etc.). In your discussion, include a critical analysis of how discretionary decisions in the early stages of the criminal justice process later impacts upon other discretionary decision-making (bail, sentencing, punishment, appeals, etc.). Support your arguments by using an example (s), case studies and crime statistics.

Q3. “Aboriginal Australians constitute approximately 2.5 percent of the nation’s population. They are twenty times more at risk than non-Aboriginal people coming into contact with the criminal justice system, and they account for over 25 percent of the adult prison population. The staggering figures are strong evidence that Aboriginal people are discriminated against by agents of the criminal justice system and lack the equal protection of the law” (Findlay et al., 2014, p. 310).

Discuss the claimed above by evaluating the dynamics of police and Aboriginal relations and judicial perceptions of Aboriginal people. End your discussion by suggesting ways to eradicate or reduce the discriminatory effect of the laws, policies, and practices that oppress Aboriginal Australians. Support your arguments by using the example(s).

What format should I use when writing the essay?

Your written acknowledgment of the essay question will be submitted in essay format and within the 1,500 (+/10%) word limit. It would be suitable to use headings to signal the way you will direct your analysis and criticism. At all times handle a formal writing style with correct referencing. To access the full details of the WSU Harvard Referencing style, you can click on the icon below:

The essay should:

  • Be word-processed and double-spaced,
  • Adopt a fluent and scholarly writing style,
  • Support your viewpoints with reasoned argument substantiated by relevant theoretical material and research evidence, and
  • Use a minimum of five academic references

The following sections should be incorporated in your essay:

INTRODUCTION: Orients the reader to the topic, previewing the stages of the essay, and clarifying the writer’s position.

BODY PARAGRAPHS: The frame of an essay consists of a logically sequenced series of paragraphs that develops the essay topic. Each item should express one fundamental idea that relates to your analysis. Begin the article by introducing this radical idea and then explain and elaborate on the concept using relevant literature and research evidence. Try to use sentences that connect each section to one another by linking ideas and lines of argument.

CONCLUSION: Restates the primary argument developed in the essay. Briefly summarise significant points and implications.


ALL students will receive feedback in the form of a general comment, in-text input and a grading rubric that describes how well the submission met each criterion.

Marking criteria and standards:

To access a copy of the marking criteria for this assessment task, you can click on the icon below:

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