Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2013


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.


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 40% (3200 words) AND Examination: 60% exam - 2hr essay (+30 minutes reading and noting)

Contact hours

Students should allocate a total of 12 hours per week of class contact/private study/preparation, including 3 hours/week of lecture attendance.


LAW1100 OR LAW1101 AND LAW1102 OR LAW1104 AND LAW3300 OR LAW3301 AND LAW3302