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LAWS417 Criminal Justice

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

Law enforcement; the powers, duties, functioning and control of the police; the prosecution, remand and trial processes; the operation of the penal system, excluding the law of sentencing; juvenile justice.

Models of Criminal Justice and the values shaping criminal justice policy and practice, policing, decision to prosecute and alternatives to prosecution, the role of victims, and appeals and other remedies.

Paper title Criminal Justice
Paper code LAWS417
Subject Law
EFTS 0.1000
Points 15 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $672.30
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,118.80

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LAWS 201 and 66 further LAWS points
Pre or Corequisite
Any 200-level LAWS paper not already passed
LAWS 317
Limited to
LLB, LLB(Hons), BAppSc
Not all optional papers will be available in any given year.
Teaching staff

Dr Danica McGovern

The Faculty provides all course materials for this paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  1. In relation to key stages in the criminal process, identify the ways in which the criminal justice system aims to:
    • protect an innocent person from prosecution and conviction
    • ensure that those accused of offences are treated fairly
    • protect the public from crime
    • avoid causing victims further harm.
  2. Apply the law relating to key decisions during the pre-trial and trial stages of the criminal process.
  3. Explain how the exercise of discretion creates a gap between “the law on the books” and “the law in action”.
  4. Become familiar with selected current law reform projects in the criminal justice sphere.
  5. Discuss the liberal theoretical underpinnings of the criminal justice system and the ways in which current practice departs from liberal values.
  6. Analyse alternative models of criminal justice.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 10:00-10:50 9-15, 17, 19-22
Wednesday 10:00-10:50 9-12, 14-15, 17-22