CRIMINAL LAW

SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1M225693
Module Leader Andrew Tickell
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Law
Trimester
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module introduces the student to the substantive criminal law of Scotland. The role of lawyers in society is changing - lawyers are increasingly expected to be pro-active in the prediction and prevention of unethical as well as unlawful behaviour across all areas of society. The delivery of the module will embed PRME principles including: developing graduates who care about social responsibility; developing learning and teaching which enables graduates to become responsible leaders and practitioners; and developing graduates who will advise businesses and other stakeholders to explore mutually beneficial responses to social and legal challenges.

Syllabus

Nature and Sources of Scots Criminal Law: Common Law; Statute; Commentators; Human Rights; Declaratory Power of the High Court Actus reus and mens rea: Actus reus: overt acts, omissions and state of affairs Mens rea: intention; recklessness; negligence Causation: The 'but for' test; The thin skull rule; The chain of causation; New intervening acts Inchoate crimes: Attempt; Conspiracy; Incitement Liability: Art and Part Liability; Vicarious Liability Crimes against the person: Abduction; Assault; Murder; Rape & sexual offences Crimes of dishonesty: Theft; Robbery; Reset; Fraud Crimes relating to property: Malicious mischief; Wilful and reckless fire-raising; Vandalism Crimes relating to public order: Breach of the peace; Terrorism Offences against the administration of justice: Perjury; Contempt; Perverting the course of justice Regulatory offences: Strict liability; Vicarious liability; Corporate liability; Road traffic offences; Drug offences; Offensive weapons; Presumptions, reverse burdens, defences Voluntary Acts and Automatism: The unconscious actor; Involuntariness as a defence; Ross v HMA 1991 JC210 Defences: Special Defences; Alibi; Incrimination; Self-defence; Mental disorder/unfitness for trial Pleas in mitigation and other defences Provocation; Diminished responsibility; Accident; Error; Intoxication/automatism; Coercion; Necessity Criminological Concepts: What is crime and how serious is it? "Crime" is not as simple a concept as it is often presented. For example, what is the relationship between crime and morality? Why are some things (e.g. incest) regulated through the criminal law and other things (e.g. adultery) are not? Why have we decided to tackle the drugs problem through the criminal justice system rather than the health system? What are the results of these strategies? What do we really do about crime in Scotland? While a legal understanding of crime allows us to know what could be done by the legal system in response to crime, in practice we know that most crimes and offences never result in a court appearance and a conviction. We need to appreciate why this is the case and understand the implications of it for social and legal policy.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1.Evaluate and apply the substantive criminal law in criminal proceedings in Scotland;2.Identify and synthesise the legal issues arising in practical problems;3.Appraise and synthesise legal concepts so as to construct a persuasive argument using recognised legal sources in justifying their application to a given set of facts;4.Communicate confidently with legal experts on a range of evidence-related legal matters;5.Update their acquired knowledge in order to keep pace with changes in relevant areas of law;6.Identify and retrieve up to date legal information using paper and electronic repositories; use primary and secondary legal sources which are relevant to the topic under study and current at the point of assessment; present knowledge and information using sources to support arguments and conclusions; provide recognised methods of citation and reference;7.Identify accurately and formulate clearly the legal issues to be researched; undertake independent research (both paper-based and electronic) in areas of law which have not been previously studied, using paper and electronic repositories to research new topics without reference to a reading list;8.PRME Learning Outcome: demonstrate an ability to explore ethical and socially responsible responses to issues arising within the context of criminal law.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module will be delivered via a combination of lectures, seminars and directed learning. Students will attend two compulsory lectures and a one hour seminar every week, over a 12 week period. Lectures will commence in week one and seminars will commence in week two. Lectures will concentrate on introducing students to the substantive legal concepts of criminal law. Seminars will focus on applying these concepts to practical problems and analysing them in the context of the criminal justice system in Scotland. Students will be expected to consider prescribed problems and legal cases prior to seminars, so as to be able to discuss issues in groups or within teams. Students will be expected to attend a criminal court within Scotland during the trimester and report on their observations during seminars. These observations will also form the basis of informal discussion during class seminars. The delivery of this module will set Scots, UK and EU law as appropriate in an international context.

Indicative Reading

Key sources: T H Jones and I Taggart (2018) Criminal Law 7 th edn (Edinburgh, W Green) C Connelly (2018) Criminal LawBasics 6 th edn (Edinburgh, W Green) C McDairmid (2018) Scottish Criminal Law Essentials 3 rd edn (Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press) P Ferguson and C McDairmid (2014) Scots Criminal Law: A Critical Analysis 2 nd edn (Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press) C H W Gane (2009) Casebook on Scottish Criminal Law (Edinburgh, W Green) A Cubie (2016) Scots Criminal Law 4 th edn (London, Bloomsbury Professional) The Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia: The Law of Scotland, Criminal Law Key online sources Primary criminal legislation <http://www.legislation.gov.uk/> Criminal case law accessible via: -360b7 The British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BaILII): <http://www.bailii.org/> b7 LexisNexis and Westlaw legal databases (accessible via GCULibrary). The Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) <http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/publications/oscola.php>

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: Analysis, Synthesis, Critical Judgement and Evaluation The ability to identify issues, assimilate, evaluate and analyse information to construct written or oral solutions to a problem by bringing together and integrating relevant information, and selecting key material, from a variety of different sources. The ability to present arguments for and against propositions, acknowledging ranking of sources and relative impact in context. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360 Preparing for and participating in seminars/tutorials Preparing for and delivering individual presentations Preparing for and delivering critical essay Personal Management, Independence and Ability to Learn The ability to organise and prioritise effectively the expenditure of time and effort in the performance of all aspects of student work. The ability to learn effectively and be aware of their own learning strategies; to manage their own learning development and to reflect upon their learning, seeking and making use of feedback. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360 Preparing for lectures Consolidating material delivered at lectures Supplementing delivered material with additional reading Reflecting on lecture, handout and self-searched material Preparing for and participating in seminars Preparing for and delivering individual presentations Preparing for and delivering critical essay Communication and Literacy The ability to communicate information, ideas, advice and choices in an effective and succinct manner and in plain English without losing focus on key issues. The ability to listen and question effectively, to give and receive feedback and to make presentations addressing an allocated topic within the prescribed time frame. The ability to communicate both orally and in writing (and, where appropriate, by the use of electronic means) using the English language accurately by creating work which is comprehensible to the intended audience. The ability to create documents which are analytical, descriptive and inquisitive using appropriate terminology and recognised methods of citation and reference. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360 Consolidating material delivered at lectures Supplementing delivered material with additional reading Reflecting on lecture, handout and self-searched material Preparing for and participating in seminars Preparing for and delivering coursework Reflecting on feedback from seminar contributions, individual presentations, coursework and examination performance Preparing for and delivering individual presentations Preparing for and delivering critical essay Numeracy, Information, Technology and Teamwork Where relevant and as the basis for an argument, the ability to present and evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form. The ability to produce and present in an appropriate form a word-processed essay or other appropriate format. The ability to conduct efficient searches of websites to locate relevant information; and exchange documents by email. The ability to work productively and cooperatively in different kinds of groups; to establish working relations with others, defining, sharing and delegating responsibilities within the group. Such skills are developed within this module through the following activities: -360 Consolidating material delivered at lectures Supplementing delivered material with additional reading Preparing for and participating in group meetings and other group activities Preparing for and participating in seminars Preparing for and delivering group presentations Preparing for and delivering critical essay and reflective report

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 102.00
Lectures (FT) 36.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 50.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 40.00 35% Legal Problem (1,500 words)
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 60.00 35% Exam 2 hours