The Federation Press

Criminal Laws in Australia


This major new text examines the core features of criminal law in all Australian jurisdictions. It builds upon the trend of recent High Court decisions to provide national solutions that will work so far as possible in all Australian jurisdictions, whether code or common law.

Professor David Lanham and his co-authors at Melbourne Law School cover both general principles and specific offences. The latter include murder, manslaughter, abortion and euthanasia, assaults, threats, bodily harm and endangerment offences, sexual offences, theft and larceny, false pretences and deception, and offences involving financial advantage, benefits and detriments.

There is significant novelty in the very close analysis of the central role played by defences in assessing criminality. This is accompanied by detailed discussion of general topics such as the different forms of criminal liability, and preliminary crimes such as attempts, incitement and conspiracy. There is also a chapter on accomplices, including aiding and abetting, innocent agency, and acting in concert and causation as a basis of joint liability.


One of the strengths of the work is its concise examination of the law in differnet jurisdictions when examining particular offences or defences.
The text is a useful introductory work in relation to the overall state of criminal law in all Australian jurisdictions. - (2008) 28 Qld Lawyer 193

This is an intelligent book, not the least because as the authors confirm, in the writing they engaged in spirited discussion, occasionally agreeing to disagree. Criminal law has been a site for contention and disagreement, propelling legislative intervention and numerous law reform reports. It is to be hoped that th author continue their collaboration... - Law Institute Journal of Victoria, July 2007

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1A. What is a Crime (online only - see Supplement below)
1B. The Purposes of Criminal Law (online only - see Supplement below)
1C. The Anatomy of a Crime (online only - see Supplement below)
2. Defences
3. Provocation
4. Homicide
5. Personal Injury Offences
6. Sexual Offences
7. Offences of Dishonesty
8. Crimes with Diminished Fault Elements
9. Preliminary Crimes
10. Accomplices
11. Conclusion

Of interest...