Issues in Criminal Law and Justice explores contemporary problems in the construction and exercise of criminal law, asking how such problems might be resolved or mitigated through legal reform. Legal problems are first introduced and analysed: outlining the background/context of the problem; the points of present contention; as well as introducing some of the reform focused literature. Following a period of guided independent research, seminar discussion will focus on the reform options, analysing and evaluating the competing ways forward.
Typical topics might include: guilt by association and criminal complicity; the acceptable limits of pre-emptive criminal offences (eg, criminal attempts and complicity); racial bias within the criminal justice system; criminal investigative powers.
The purpose of the module is to expose and engage with the debates that shape our criminal law. Students will be guided in their understanding and research into a range of current legal problems, and then challenged to take a position as to how such problems should be tackled.