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Unit information: Crime, Justice and Society in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Crime, Justice and Society
Unit code LAWD20034
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Bibbings
Open unit status Not open

LAWD10014 Criminal Law



School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit builds upon a prior understanding of substantive principles of criminal law in order to expand and deepen knowledge and understanding, and to consider the operation of criminal law in society. In particular, the unit emphasises the notion of criminalisation and focuses upon the boundaries of criminality, both through looking critically at the process by which certain types of behaviour become defined as criminal and some do not, and through looking at the discretionary processes through which law is (or is not) enforced in practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  • Research aspects of criminal law, criminal justice and policy (and other relevant areas of law and policy) on their own
  • Evaluate their findings and present them in essays
  • When presented with a proposition on an aspect of crime, criminal law or criminal justice: present arguments for and against the proposition, citing relevant authorities (both from the unit and from their own independent research), including the views of writers and the findings of studies from a range of relevant disciplines, and assess the weight of their arguments
  • Locate and confidently discuss any relevant reform proposals
  • Draw a reasoned conclusion as to whether they agree or disagree with the proposition.

Teaching Information

20 lectures and 8 tutorials, plus 10 lectures in the Foundations of Legal Research programme

Assessment Information

A 2000 word mandatory formative essay.

Two summative pieces of coursework of 2,000 words, each contributing 50% to the final mark.

The assessments are designed to test whether students have developed the skills that are critical to this unit, namely independent research and critical evaluation. The assessments will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

Key texts include: Lacey, Wells and Quick, Reconstructing Criminal Law, 4th Edition (Cambridge: CUP, 2010); Sanders, Young and Burton, Criminal Justice, 5th Edition (Oxford: OUP, 2015). Further suggestions for reading are provided on lecture presentations and tutorial worksheets.