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LAWS3089 Miscarriages of Justice

Module Overview

The Miscarriages of Justice module focuses on specific problems concerning the delivery of justice in England and Wales. It examines aspects of the criminal justice system relating to the nature, extent and causes of miscarriages of justice, and connects them to theoretical and normative debates with socio-legal studies.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The module aims to provide you with a knowledge and understanding of the meanings of ‘miscarriage of justice’ and a critical awareness of its implications within a common law system that attempts to achieve a balance between ‘due process’ and ‘crime control’.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • relevant criminal justice issues in England and Wales;
  • the meanings of the term ‘miscarriage of justice’;
  • the nature, extent and causes of miscarriages of justice;
  • your critical awareness of its implications within a common law system that attempts to achieve a balance between ‘due process’ and ‘crime control’.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • describe ‘due process’ and ‘crime control’ models of justice, the principles and priorities that guide their operations on the criminal justice process and the impact of their conflicting pressures on prosecution outcomes;
  • explain the role of the police in the construction of a case and collection of evidence;
  • identify the key features of recent and past cases of miscarriage of justice and the procedures for reviewing alleged or suspected miscarriages of justice;
  • describe how these impact upon victims.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • deploy analytic and evaluative skills in relation to complex situations;
  • construct a coherent and reasoned argument in writing;
  • communicate reasoned arguments effectively within a group;
  • exercise initiative and responsibility to conduct a piece of independent research.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate critical awareness of the difficulties associated with the exercise of due process protections;
  • evaluate the roles of the police and prosecution authorities, the Home Office and the Court of Appeal in miscarriage of justices cases;
  • critically assess the function and effectiveness of the Criminal Cases Review Commission;
  • analyse current and past cases of miscarriage of justice;
  • appreciate the significance of the impact of miscarriages of justice on victims.

Syllabus

The following is an indicative list of topics covered in the module. Precise topics will vary from year to year, to reflect current developments and pertinent theoretical debates: • the nature and extent of miscarriages of justice, • case studies and case histories • theoretical perspectives on criminal justice systems in the UK • presumptions of guilt or innocence • the role of the police • the role of the Criminal Cases Review Commission • the role of the media • campaigns and campaigning organisations

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • lectures • tutorials Learning activities include: • discussion • essay writing • feedback on assignments Assessment will comprise a portfolio essay (total 5,000 words).

TypeHours
Completion of assessment task50
Wider reading or practice10
Tutorial4
Lecture22
Preparation for scheduled sessions64
Total study time150

Assessment

Formative

Essay

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (5000 words) 100%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (5000 words) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio  (5000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Textbooks

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

As there is no set text for this module, you will not have to buy any of the books listed. They will be available via the Library and/or the Blackboard pages for this module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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