1 x 2-hour seminar weekly

1 x 30-hour seminar per semester
1 1 of CRIM1101, LEGL1201, LEGL1101
2 CRIM1102
3 1 of CRIM2201, CRIM2202, CRIM2301, CRIM2204
4 18 units of second level LLAW topics
5 LLAW2212 - The Constitution and the Australian Federation [International / Comparative I]
Must Satisfy: ((1 and 2 and 3) or (4 and 5))
Topic description
This topic will examine the phenomenon of miscarriages of justice in an international perspective, based principally upon the jurisdictions of Australia, Canada and Britain. Specific issues covered include: The law on miscarriages of justice in each of the above three jurisdictions; the role and duties of prosecutors and expert witnesses; police investigative culture and practices; use of unreliable forensic science and forensic pathology evidence; the gatekeeping role of the judge in admissibility of such evidence in court; the current appeal structure and pardoning system and the development of error correction and systematic reform institutions.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  • introduce students to the law relating to miscarriages of justice in Australia, Britain and Canada

  • make students aware of the systematic failures that arise in each of the three jurisdictions in the areas of investigations and prosecutions; forensic science and forensic pathology

  • critically examine the systematic responses to such cases and reflect upon possible improvements to those institutional arrangements
Expected learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of this topic, students will be able to demonstrate skills and knowledge in:

  • describing relevant aspects of the criminal justice system through analysis of miscarriages cases in each of the three jurisdictions

  • explaining some of the practical and theoretical reasons for miscarriages of justice

  • analysing the relevant sociological and psychological factors involved in institutional failures

  • developing proposals for how the justice system can be improved to reduce incidence of miscarriages of justice