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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Criminalisation (LAWS11266)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaLaw Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionWhat conduct may the state criminalise? This course will offer students the chance to develop answers to this important and often neglected question within legal and political theory. Drawing on classic debates about the role of notions such as immorality and harm in justifying state coercion, the course would investigate fundamental questions about the ethics of criminalisation. For example, may the state regulate forms of wrongdoing that are harmless or merely offensive, or that harm others in ways to which those others have consented? The course would also consider contemporary controversies about the limits of the criminal law. For example, it will consider the use of the criminal law to control risk and remote harms in contexts such as terrorist activity and anti-social behaviour. A more general aim of the course will be to encourage students to apply philosophical insight and methods to policy debates.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  25
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1. Understand and critically analyse the principal theories of criminalisation, and in particular the significance of concepts of harm and offence in this context.

2. Apply these theories to novel situations and proposals.

3. Assess whether and to what extent existing practices of criminalisation can be justified with reference to these theories.

4. Demonstrate development of key research, communication and personal effectiveness skills:

the ability to synthesise and communicate information and ideas effectively in written and oral form
the ability to present to others research and scholarly work relating to their own and foreign legal cultures
the ability to work independently, seeking relevant advice and support when necessary
the ability to work constructively as a member of a group or team, to assert leadership or follow instructions effectively
Assessment Information
Essay (80%) and further exercise (oral or / and written), to be specified in course guide at start of semester (20%).
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description This course is a core (but optional) course for the LLM in Criminal Law and the LLM in Criminal Justice. It is optional for students on other masters programmes within the School of Law.
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Research skills; oral and written communication skills; problem-solving and critical analysis skills; teamwork skills
Reading list To be distributed in advance of seminars
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern The course will consist of ten two-hour seminars
KeywordsCriminalisation, criminal law
Course organiserDr Andrew Cornford
Tel: (0131 6)51 4085
Course secretaryMr Douglas Thompson
Tel: (0131 6)50 2022
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