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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2010 - 2011

Module Title Advanced Criminal Law
Module Code LG130
School School of Law & Government

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module aims: - to build upon the understanding of the criminal law and the criminal justice system which students will have acquired in the Foundations of Criminal Law module; - to teach students about the theories of crime and punishment, as well as theories which focus on the development of the criminal justice system; - to provide a deeper analysis of the development of particular criminal offences and the methods of addressing such offences, through the study of case-law and legislation, as well as the application of criminological theories; - to teach students about the punishments available for criminal offences and the changing emphasis on such punishments which has occurred from time to time, again with reference to case-law and legislation, as well as societal influences and theory.

Learning Outcomes

1. describe and critically assess the basis of criminal liability, selected offences and selected defences to criminal charges
2. discuss the main criminological and criminal justice theories;
3. account for many of the changes in the criminalisation and punishment of certain activities in Ireland (and other jurisdictions);
4. apply criminological and criminal justice theories to the development of the Irish criminal justice system, with reference to relevant case-law, legislation and societal influences;
5. and, apply case-law and legislation, as well as theory, to criminal law problems.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Tutorial6Preparation, Attendance and Participation in Tutorial
Assignment Completion35Research and write up
Independent Study60Reading for lectures and tutorials
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Criminological and Criminal Justice Theories
Feminist criminology, Radical and Critical criminology, Environmental criminology, Packer s Crime Control and Due Process models, Criminal Justice as Politics, Late-modern theories of criminal justice (managerialism/privatisation/control).

Societal reaction to crime
Crime and the media; the Politics of crime

Advanced mens rea and actus reus
Including discussion of modernday issues such as the criminalisation of transmitting sexually transmitted diseases: intention, recklessness, negligence

Juvenile Justice
An examination of criminal procedure in relation to child offenders: age of criminal responsibility; garda diversion programme; Children Court; sentencing; imprisonment as last resort

Victims' place in the criminal justice system: victim information rights; compensation; victim impact statements

Development of Irish criminal justice system and criminal law
-criminalisation and de-criminalisation of certain offences (homosexuality, contraception, syringe offences, rape as a gendered offence) -changes in trial and punishment (victim impact statements, juvenile justice, compensation orders); - moves away from reliance on criminal law (e.g. Criminal Assets Bureau, ASBOs).

Tour of Mountjoy Prison
Dependant on availability

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Hale, Hayward, Wahidin and Wincup: 2009, Criminology, 2nd, OUP,
  • Maguire, Morgan and Reiner (eds.): 2007, The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 4th, OUP, Oxford,
  • OMahony (ed.): 2002, Criminal Justice in Ireland, Institute of Public Administration,, Dublin,
  • Walsh: 2002, Criminal Procedure, Thomson Round Hall, Dublin,
  • Smith and Hogan: 2009, Criminal Law: Cases and Materials, 10th, OUP, London,
  • Lanier: 2006, The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Criminology and Criminal Justice, Ashgate, Aldershsot,
  • Nicola and Wells: 2003, Reconstructing Criminal Law, 3rd, CUP,
  • O Donnell and O Sullivan: 2001, Crime Control in Ireland: The Politics of Intolerance, Cork University Press,
  • Garland: 2001, The Culture of Control :Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society, OUP, Oxford,
  • Pavlich: 2000, Critique and Radical Discourses on Crime, Ashgate Dartmouth, Aldershot,
  • Bibbings and Nicolson: 2000, Feminist Perspectives on Criminal Law, Routledge, UK,
  • Bacik and O Connell (eds.): 1998, Crime and Poverty in Ireland, Round Hall, Dublin,
  • Nicola and Wells: 1998, Reconstructing Criminal Law, 2nd, Butterworths, UK,
  • Daly and Maher (eds.): 1998, Criminology at the Crossroads : Feminist Readings in Crime and Justice, OUP, Oxford,
  • O Mahony: 1996, Criminal Chaos, Round Hall, Dublin,
  • Fennell: 1993, Crime and Crisis in Ireland, Cork University Press,
  • Packer: 1967, The Limits of the Criminal Sanction, Stanford University Press, Stanford,
Other Resources

131, Moodle, 0, Lecture notes and links to relevant journal articles, case-law and websites will be available on the DCU Moodle page for this module., 132, Electronic Resources, 0, Some useful electronic resources are: Justis, WestLaw IE, FirstLaw, LexisNexis, www.bailii.org, www.irishstatutebook.ie, www.lawreform.ie, www.courts.ie, www.echr.coe.int, 133, Journals, 0, Students should also regularly refer to relevant journals, such as the Irish Criminal Law Journal, the Judicial Studies Institute Journal, and the British Journal of Criminology.,
Programme or List of Programmes
BCLBCL (Law and Society)