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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: School of Law Short Name: LAWM048
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: JAGO R Mr (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability
Spring Semester
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)










Qualifying Condition(s)


Overall mark of 50%


Module Overview
To provide students with a critical understanding of Comparative Criminal Justice Policy.
Module Aims

The broad aims of the module are to enable students to understand how to compare criminal justice policies and then to focus on particular areas of concern such as policing, prosecution, prisons and probation.  Crimes of an international flavour are also considered, where systems comparison becomes more focused on collective responses.

Learning Outcomes

·         Upon completion, students will be expected to have a critical awareness of the different approaches to comparison and what the benefits ate of the comparative endeavour


·         Students will also be aware of the current methods of comparison and will look at comparing statistics as an important example of these methods of action


·         These methods will then enable students to consider comparison of criminal justice policy


·         A comparison of four different legal cultures will enable students to review how important constitutional review and the criminal justice processes are in different jurisdictions


·         Students will evaluate policing and prosecution in different jurisdictions, which will lead to an understanding of how trials and sentencing differ within these jurisdictions


·         The use of imprisonment and probation practices will be considered to demonstrate the fluctuations in comparative policy


·         Finally, students will consider aspects of international crime such as terrorism and the crimes of the powerful


Module Content

·         Why compare?


·         How do we compare?


·         Due process vs. Crime Control and the emergence of dignity


·         Legal Cultures and the comparative endeavour


·         The changing approaches of policing


·         Prosecutions and Fionda’s study of change


·         Prison and Downes’ study of tolerance


·         Probation and the change from support to compliance


·         Combating terrorism and the problems of definition



Methods of Teaching/Learning

8 x 3-hour sessions spread across the semester

Selected Texts/Journals

Essential reading


Pakes, F. Comparative Criminal Justice (Willan, 2004)



Background reading


Wigmore, J. H. A Panorama of the World’s Legal Systems (W. M. Gaunt & Sons, 1936)



Other selected texts


Downes, D. Contrasts in Tolerance (Oxford University Press, 1988)


Fairchild, E. & Dammer, H. Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (Belmont, CA.: Wadsworth , 2000)


Fionda, J. Public Prosecutors and Discretion: A Comparative Study (Oxford University Press, 1995)


Lippman, M., McConville, S. & Yerushalmi, M. Islamic Criminal Law and Procedure (Prager, 1988)


Nelken, D. ‘Comparing Criminal Justice’ from Oxford Handbook of Criminology


Newburn, T. & Sparks, R. (eds) Criminal Justice and Political Cultures (Willan, 2004)


Patrick Glenn, H. Legal Traditions of the World ( Oxford University Press, 2007)


, J. Understanding Terrorism ( Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 2004)


Reichel, P. Comparative Criminal Justice Systems: A Topical Approach (Prentice Hall, 2002)


Rutherford , A. Criminal Justice and the Pursuit of Decency (Oxford University Press, 1993)


Sanders, A. & Young, R. Criminal Justice ( Oxford University Press, 2007)


Stern, V. A Sin Against the Future (London: Penguin, 1998)


Walker , N. Why Punish? (Oxford University Press, 1989)


Zedner, L with Noaks, L., Levi, M. & Maguire, M (Eds) ‘Comparative Research in Criminal Justice’ in Contemporary Issues in Criminology (University of Wales Press, 1995)





British Journal of Criminology


Criminal Law Review


Howard Journal of Criminal Justice


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