LAW4648 - Ethics and criminal justice - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Not offered in 2017


This unit introduces the key concepts in the administration of criminal justice and the major ethical systems. It examines issues relevant to the administration of criminal justice by identifying the ethical dilemmas that might arise for professionals in the criminal justice system. Topics will include ethics and police, ethics and lawyers, ethics in corrections and the ethics of criminal justice policy making. In discussing ethical dilemmas at the various stages of the administration of criminal justice, students will be encouraged and challenged to think about the differences and interplay between the procedural rules, institutional practices and ethical guidelines. The impact and implications of the issues are considered and their possible resolutions explored. The different approaches taken by different countries in tackling the said issues will be examined by students, who will be invited to think critically about how ethics can facilitate in the search for the appropriate resolution for the said issues.


On completion of this unit, a student should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts in the administration of criminal justice and the major ethical systems;
  2. identify the ethical dilemmas in the administration of criminal justice;
  3. analyse selected issues in the administration of criminal justice from an ethical viewpoint;
  4. evaluate criminal justice practices and laws from an ethical perspective;
  5. engage in discussion of how ethics can play a role in the resolution of issues in criminal justice in different legal jurisdictions.


Class participation: 10%

Presentation: 10%

Research paper (2,000 words): 40%

Take home examination: 40%.

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)