Faculty of Law

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Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2011


All societies grapple with the issues of ensuring compliance with criminal laws, establishing appropriate forms of punishment, and implementing those punishments in acceptable and effective ways. This unit focuses on theories, institutions and processes relating to the legal system's response to breaches of the criminal law, in a range of comparative jurisdictions. Students will examine theories of punishment, approaches to and options for sentencing, contributions being made in various jurisdictions by therapeutic jurisprudence and restorative justice, and different approaches to the use of imprisonment. Students will also examine the operation and management of imprisonment in a range of jurisdictions, including issues of discipline, drug use, gender and ethnicity, and human rights.

NB Quota applies.


On completion of this unit students will have acquired or developed

  1. an understanding of the objectives and theories of sentencing and punishment;
  2. a knowledge of current global legal, political and social perspectives on sentencing and punishment;
  3. an understanding of theories of punishment, and sentencing alternatives, in a range of comparative jurisdictions
  4. the ability to independently research and critically analyse problems in the enforcement of the criminal law; and
  5. the ability to think critically about the principles and institutions which relate to punishment.


Research essay 30% (1500 words) (optional); class presentation and discussion 10%; examination - 2 hours (plus 30 minutes reading and noting time) with the optional essay 60% OR 3 hours (plus 30 minutes reading and noting time) without the optional essay 90%

Chief examiner(s)

Emeritus Professor Richard Fox