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Criminal Law


Module description

This module grounds your understanding of the substantive criminal law through the study not just of the relevant legal rules, but also of the social and moral values which inform them. The module is organised around the following themes:

  • criminal law's conceptions of personal and sexual integrity and of personal and social interests in property
  • the status of general theories of criminal liability
  • the conception of criminal capacity and its relationship to the avoidance of criminal liability
  • the modern state and conceptions of public and social order.

These general issues are considered in relation to non-fatal offences against the person, sexual offences, property offences, homicide, the legal construction of criminal capacity, and offences against public order and the state.

More generally, and through these themes and issues, the module traces the historical emergence of particular modern forms of criminal liability and engages in a close analysis of the terms in which offences are framed and the patterns which mark their interpretation and enforcement.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • know the basic judicial concepts of criminal responsibility
  • be able to describe the practices of criminal law
  • be able to analyse the various contexts in which criminal law is practised
  • be able to assess the aims and methods of criminal law
  • have developed the oral and written skills necessary for criminal legal practice.