Subject details

After successfully completing this subject 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 degree
  • Topics
    • Introduction: Courts, Law and Society
    • Law in Everyday Life
    • Language and Law
    • Legal Players, the 'Haves' and 'Have Nots'
    • Decision Makers I: Judges
    • Decision Makers II: Juries
    • Expert Witnesses
    • Other Witnesses: Eyewitnesses
    • Victims
    • Alternative Courts I: Indigenous Justice
    • Alternative Courts II: Mental Health Cts
    • Miscarriages of Justice & Wrongful Convict
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Leacture capture
    • Print Materials
      • Welcome letter
    • Online Materials
      • Online Assessment
      • Resources and Links

No eligibility requirements

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject 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 subject, we study the roles of various actors that interact in the courtroom, such as judges, juries, expert witnesses, eyewitnesses, victims and defendants.null; The subject 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.

  • Assignment 1 - Topic summary (30%)
  • Assignment 2 - Major essay (50%)
  • Assignment 3 - Discussion leader (20%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

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