Criminal Law - LW508

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
5 30 (15) MS JM Thompson




Only available to Law students.



  • Introduction to the concept of crime, the structure of criminal justice and the general principles of liability
  • Harm and the boundaries of criminal law
  • Murder, the problem of causation and omissions and intent to kill
  • Defences to murder, self-defence, provocation, insanity and diminished responsibility
  • Manslaughter, unlawful act, recklessness and gross negligence
  • Non-fatal offences against the person
  • Sexual offences
  • Theft and the Fraud Act 2006
  • Inchoate offences

    The module is structured to provide students with the opportunity to explore the major issues in criminal law through class presentation, through consideration of essay style topics and by working through criminal law problem questions. At the commencement of the module students are provided with a Seminar Workbook which outlines the weekly seminar topic and task.


    This module appears in:

    Contact hours

    40 hours lectures; 20 hours seminars (approximately)

    Method of assessment

    Written examination worth 80% and 20% coursework consisting of an oral (which must be passed in order to pass the module) and a case note.

    Preliminary reading

    J Herring Great Debates: Criminal Law (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)
    A Norrie 'Crime, Reason and History' ( Weidenfeld & Nicholson 2nd ed, 2001)
    A Ashworth & J Horder Principles of Criminal Law ( Oxford University Press, 7th edition, 2013)

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

    Learning outcomes

    On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

    1.Demonstrate a sound grounding in the concepts, principles and rules of criminal offences; in particular the law relating to murder/manslaughter, non-fatal offences, defences, theft, fraud, sexual and inchoate offences.
    2.Demonstrate a sound understanding of the wider debate in respect of the place of criminal law in the social context, the definitions of harm and the boundaries of criminal law.
    3.Demonstrate knowledge of the major theoretical debates in the criminal law field.
    4.Assess criminal liability in a given factual situation and identify any defences by applying relevant legal principles, case law and statute law to the facts, and critically debate any issues raised.
    5.Engage in a reasoned and informed discussion of the major areas of criminal law making appropriate reference to legal and academic source authorities.
    6.Evaluate the operation of the criminal law in the social context.

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