This course follows from LAWS1021 / JURD 7121 Crime and the Criminal Process, and applies the perspectives and themes of that course to the doctrinally central criminal offences and defences. These are examined in a contextual framework that emphasises the policy and social issues underpinning the development and application of the law. This critical approach allows students to appreciate a complex set of conflicting ideologies, principles, discretion and histories informing the criminal law. The course draws on materials from other disciplines – especially criminology, history, sociology and feminist theory, which enhance students’ appreciation of the law in context. Social issues including race, class and gender are stressed. Comparisons with jurisdictions other than NSW are undertaken where this highlights relevant policy issues, legislative alternatives, or demonstrates the contingent nature of the law in question. Throughout, detailed doctrinal analysis of the chosen offences/defences takes place and students develop the skills of legal element analysis of both statutory and common law offences and defences.
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