Law and Behaviour - 2017

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sess 1
  • Availability for 2018: Sess 1
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Topic summary (30%) , Assignment 2 - Major essay (50%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 2,563.00
International 2,813.00

This unit examines the areas in which the criminal justice system and psychological theories of behaviour interact. Topics include the reliability of eyewitness testimony, truthfulness and credibility of witnesses, questioning child victims of sexual assault, the social dynamics of juries and the role of expert testimony.

In this unit, we study the roles of various actors that interact in the courtroom, such as judges, juries, expert witnesses, eyewitnesses, victims and defendants.null; The unit introduces interdisciplinary literatures: criminology, law and society/socio-legal studies, and psychology.null; Topics include the social dynamics of juries, judicial discretion, the validity of forensic science and the role of expert testimony, the reliability of eyewitness testimony, an examination of mental health courts and indigenous justice, and the prevalence of wrongful convictions.

After successfully completing this unit you should be able to:

  1. Have an understanding of the issues surrounding courts, its legal players and the criminal justice system
  2. Engage in interdisciplinary approaches and increased familiarity with literatures including criminology, socio-legal studies and psychology
  3. Be able to research and write an independent piece of work
  4. Be able to design and present a seminar/training course
  • Assignment 1 — Topic summary (30%)
  • Assignment 2 — Major essay (50%)
  • Online Discussion — Discussion leader (20%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction: Courts, Law and Society
2Law in Everyday Life
3Language and Law
4Legal Players, the 'Haves' and 'Have Nots'
5Decision Makers I: Judges
6Decision Makers II: Juries
7Expert Witnesses
8Other Witnesses: Eyewitnesses
10Alternative Courts I: Indigenous Justice
11Alternative Courts II: Mental Health Cts
12Miscarriages of Justice & Wrongful Convict

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture

Print based materials

  • Welcome Letter

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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