Courses / Modules / LAWS3098 Crime in Law, Literature and Culture

Crime in Law, Literature and Culture

When you'll study it
Semester 1
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 6
Module lead
David Gurnham
Academic year

Module overview

This module examines crime and criminal law in its broader cultural and historical context. It focuses on the strategies and techniques that lawyers, judges and commentators use to persuade others to their viewpoint, and that give us the fascinating stories, characters and ideas that make up criminal law. We look at the way that these stories and characters have been derived from outside of law: from fiction, drama and art, and which have in turn guided the development of our laws and key legal judgments. The module involves discussion of certain offences, e.g. murder, manslaughter, piracy, rape, as well as important broader issues, e.g. criminal justice as a spectacle (what does modern justice owe to visual art and theatrical performance?); 'hot' and 'cold'- blooded killing (what is the moral and legal distinction?); justice and revenge (what's the difference?); the role of metaphors such as the 'scales of justice' (what does criminal justice owe to ancient practices of trade and commerce?).