Criminal Law

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The Criminal Law module is intended to introduce the key concepts of criminal law and its applications to real life scenarios.  This is a substantive area of law and builds upon the foundations gained in earlier modules. The module examines both the general principles of the criminal law, and its specific substance in particular offences.  The offences include those involving property, non-fatal offences against the person, sexual offences and fatal offences. 

Key doctrines and rules will be discussed throughout the module relating to a number of offences.  The module will also allow an insight into how criminal liability is incurred, as well as the exclusions of liability.  This includes looking at aspects of actus reus, mens rea and the general defences that exist. Case law will be examined to see how the doctrines and rules relating to criminal law have developed and whether we have certainty in this area of law. 

This module will highlight the powers of the police in relation to arrest and detention for the purposes of investigating criminal offences.  Students will then examine the aspects of the principal functions and the procedures of the magistrate and crown court. Disclosure of evidence and the function and mode of the trial proceedings will be discussed and investigated.  The sentencing procedure will be inspected and explored along with the provisions of funding a criminal case in relation to advice, assistance and representation at varying levels. 

Upon completion of this Module a Trainee should be able to:

  1. Describe the rules and principles relating to inchoate offences, including conspiracy and attempt
  2. Understand and analyse the nature and features of strict liability
  3. Become familiar with the principles relating to specific offences against the person (including homicide and the non-fatal offences) and against property
  4. Explain and apply the general defences in criminal law
  5. Explain the powers of the police to arrest and detain a person for the purpose of investigating a criminal offence
  6. Describe the rules that govern publicly funded advice, assistance and representation in the criminal justice process
  7. Describe procedures relating to sentencing & appeals