Law School

College of Arts and Law


Code 22356

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 20

Semester Full Term

Module description

The module deals with dangerousness and risk, in legal and other contexts, with particular reference to the prediction and treatment of those who have committed or who are thought likely to commit acts regarded as dangerous.

Some of the topics covered are:

  • Sentencing 'dangerous' offenders, with particular reference to sentences of imprisonment for public protection and other elements of Part 12 Chapter 5 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and the guidance provided by the Sentencing Guidelines Council.
  • The use of alternative and additional approaches beyond traditional sentencing options, with particular reference to sexual offences, including registration and notification provision for sex offenders, Sexual Offence Prevention Orders, Risk of Sexual Harm Orders, MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements).
  • Research on the possible association between mental disorder and crime; relevant debates on reform of mental health legislation leading to the Mental Health Act 2007; consideration of the issues raised by implementation of the legislation since 2008. (Subject to the demands of the clinical service, a visit to a local a medium secure facility providing assessment and treatment for mentally disordered offenders will include lectures from consultant staff.)
  • Assessing risk and predicting dangerousness: definitional and methodological problems; research on the effectiveness of risk assessment methods
In addition, each student will select and pursue a further example of how the law permits, or could permit, intervention to prevent (rather than punish) 'dangerous' behaviour; presentation and discussion of the findings will be part of the assessed WebCT supervision work.