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ZUG3005 – Criminal Law

Undergraduate – Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Business and Economics


South Africa

  • Second Semester 2019 (Day)

15 Credits


The principal aim of this unit is to provide students with the theoretical underpinnings of the general principles of Criminal Law. Criminal Law forms part of public law, and is concerned with punishment, elements of crime, participation in crime, attempt, conspiracy and incitement. The unit explains the context and scope of Criminal Law within South Africa. Upon completion, students demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and an informed understanding of the important terms, rules, concepts, general principles and theories. A strategic and integrative approach is followed and explored through the use of appropriate case studies and applied activities to describe Criminal Law. To develop independent research skills, including using technology in legal research.


  • Demonstrate a sophisticated interpretation of the general principles of Criminal Law with specific reference to:
    • The place of Criminal Law in the legal system
    • The history and sources of Criminal Law
    • Theories of punishment
    • The general elements of a crime
    • Participation in crime
    • Attempt, conspiracy and incitement
  • Demonstrate the legal reference style in writing, key terms, procedures, formats and conventions, theories and principles in reasoning and problem solving in Criminal Law.
  • Analyse and evaluate information and formulate a presentation of possible solutions in the field of Criminal Law.
  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge and understanding of the legal concepts and terminology commonly encountered in Criminal Law.
  • Argue Criminal Law issues in an informed and critical manner.
  • Communicate the law, and its application to different factual situations, in writing or orally with reference to the necessary authority.
  • To apply the knowledge gained during the course to solve practical problems relating to Criminal Law matters.


Within semester assessment: 50%
Examination: 50%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 150 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.