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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: PSYM019 Module Title: THE LEGAL PROCESS
Module Provider: Psychology Short Name: PS.M36
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: BLAKE LW Mr (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability


Assessment Pattern
Module Overview

Units of Assessment  
Percentage Weighting  
Legal Research (2000 words)  
Court visits/summary and reflection (1500 words for each of 2 courts/tribunals)  



Module Aims

This module aims to provide students with knowledge and awareness of the attitude of the criminal courts towards defendants (including mentally disordered defendants and those who are not fit to be tried).

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, you will be able to:
•    have an understanding of the remedies available in the civil courts and tribunals to litigants who have suffered psychological injuries caused (directly or indirectly) by accidents; or by stressful situations at work; or because of the malicious conduct of others.
•    have an understanding of the procedures and safeguards that exist for the interviewing of children and mentally disabled persons.
•    have an understanding of the principal rules of evidence in criminal cases and the special rules that apply to expert witnesses in civil and criminal cases.
•    have an understanding of how the Human Rights Act 1998 underpins or affects the rights of police suspects, defendants, and litigants in the United Kingdom courts and tribunals.

Module Content
Week 1: The sources of English law: primary legislation; secondary legislation; Codes of Practice and other forms of quasi-legislation; case law. European Community Law. The European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998.
Week 2: The hierarchy of the civil and criminal courts; the work of tribunals; the doctrine of precedent. Judicial review.
Week 3: Criminal Law and Procedure: Burden and Standard of Proof. Offences of true criminality contrasted with offences of a regulatory nature. The mental element in crime (intention, recklessness, gross negligence, etc.). 

Week 4: General Defences in English Criminal Law: Non-Insane Automatism, Mistake, Intoxication, Duress, Necessity.

Week 5: Unfitness to Stand Trial. Insanity as a Defence. Diminished Responsibility in the Law of Homicide. Provocation in the Law of Homicide.

Week 6: The Law of Evidence: Hearsay rule, Similar Fact Evidence, Identification Evidence, Confession Evidence, the interviewing of suspects, additional safeguards for children and mentally handicapped persons.

Week 7: Expert witnesses, Expert reports, Cross-examination of Witnesses in Court.

Week 8: Psychiatric injury in the law of tort.

Week 9: Health and safety at work; stress at work and other employment law claims.

Week 10:(To be announced – visiting lecturer)
Methods of Teaching/Learning
Lectures and seminars
Selected Texts/Journals
Recommended Law Reading
Baker, C.D. (current edition).  Tort.  London:  Sweet & Maxwell.
Barrett, B. & Howells, R. (current edition) Occupational Health and Safety Law:  Text and Materials.  London:  Cavendish Publishing.
Blackstone's Medical Law Statutes (current edition).   London: Blackstone Press.
Blackstone's Statutes on Public Law and Human Rights (current edition).  London: Blackstone Press.
Murphy, P. (current edition) Murphy on Evidence.  London: Blackstone Press.
Slade, E. (current edition) Tolley's Employment Handbook.  London: Butterworths Tolley.
Smith, J. & Hogan, B. (current edition) Criminal Law.  London: Butterworths Tolley.
Ward, R. (current edition) Walker and Walker's English Legal System.  London: Butterworth Tolley.
Weir, T. (current edition) A Casebook on Tort.  London: Sweet and Maxwell.

Reference Books
Archbold's Criminal Pleading, Evidence, and Practice.  (Current annual volume)  London: Sweet & Maxwell.
Blackstone's Criminal Practice.  (Current annual volume)  London: Blackstone Press.
Gregory, R.L. (ed) (Current edition) The Oxford Companion to the Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Stone's Justices' Manual.  (Current edition)  London: Shaw & Sons/Butterworths Tolley.

Legal Periodicals:
The Criminal Law Review.  (Monthly)  London: Sweet & Maxwell.
The Journal of Criminal Law.  (Quarterly)
The New Law Journal.  (Weekly)  London: Butterworths Tolley.

Recommended Psychology Reading:
Adler, J. R. (Ed.) (2004). Forensic Psychology: Concepts, Debates and Practice. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.
Blackburn, R. (1993). The Psychology of Criminal Conduct: Theory, research and practice. Chichester: Wiley.
Bull, R. & Carson, D. (1998). Handbook of Psychology in Legal Contexts. Chichester: Wiley.
Gudjonsson, G. H. & Haward, L. R. C. (2000).  Forensic Psychology: A Guide to Practice.  London: Routledge.
Howitt, D. (2002).  Forensic and Criminal Psychology.  London: Pearson – Prentice Hall.
McGuire, J., Mason, T., & O’Kane, A. (2000). Behaviour, Crime & Legal Processes: A Guide for Forensic Practitioners.  Chichester: Wiley.
Memon, A., Vrij, A., & Bull, R. (2003). Psychology and Law: Truthfulness, Accuracy and Credibility.  Chichester: Wiley.
Towl, G. & Crighton, D. A. (1996). The Handbook of Psychology for Forensic Practitioners. London: Routledge.
Last Updated
9th August 2010