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Study information

Criminal Justice and Evidence

Module titleCriminal Justice and Evidence
Module codeLAW3168
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Adam McCann (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module will enable you to critically examine criminal justice processes in England and Wales. It is an analytical module that builds upon knowledge of substantive criminal law gained at Level 1 and also borrows from other subject areas such as criminology, EU law, the ECHR and the law of evidence. It broadly follows the chronology of criminal justice processes, from arrest to appeal. The module is contextual in the sense that you will examine how criminal justice processes ‘work’ in their legal and social context, rather than simply looking at legal rules.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide you with a structure to enable you to critically examine criminal justice processes in England and Wales.
  • To enable you to understand a variety of theoretical approaches to the study of criminal justice processes and to make judgements about the ethical issues and values involved.
  • To instil an appreciation of the variety of issues raised by the study of criminal justice processes, and the complexity of those issues particularly in respect of the extent to which they may interrelate.
  • To develop your ability to understand both the variety of principles applicable to criminal justice issues, and to be able to critically assess both existing processes and proposals for change, having regard to existing knowledge and research findings.
  • To provide you with a variety of opportunities to fulfil the above aims, and to demonstrate knowledge of relevant theoretical approaches, principles and laws and the ability to apply them to particular aspects of criminal justice.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of relevant theoretical approaches, principles and laws as they relate to criminal justice
  • 2. Critically evaluate a variety of criminal justice processes effectively and independently, both as they exist and in relation to proposals for reform

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Understand the relationship between legal rules and their implementation in practice as revealed by relevant research, and the limitations of law in regulating social action
  • 4. Demonstrate an appreciation of the complex interrelationship between different justice processes and phenomena

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Conduct appropriate research in relation to specific criminal justice issues
  • 6. Produce a structured, coherent and concise argument, using communication methods appropriate to the discipline
  • 7. Work independently, within a limited time frame, to complete a specified task.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Nature & objectives of the criminal justice system
  • The HRA 1998 and criminal justice
  • Stop & search powers
  • Powers of arrest
  • Detention and Interrogation
  • The right to silence at the police station
  • Unlawfully obtained evidence
  • Confessions and confession evidence
  • Obtaining Identification Evidence
  • Prosecution Decisions/Alternatives to prosecution
  • Bail: Police and Court
  • Legal Aid
  • Prosecution and defence disclosure
  • Summary Justice
  • Jury Trial
  • Burden of Proof
  • Examination in Chief and Cross-Examination
  • Hearsay
  • Character
  • Corroboration
  • Sentencing & Appeals from Crown Court
  • Miscarriages of Justice
  • Abuse of Process, Civil Remedies and CCRC

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity4623 x 2 hour lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity96 x 1.5 hour workshops
Guided Independent Study120Individual reading and lecture preparation
Guided Independent Study35Workshop preparation
Guided Independent Study80Assessment preparation
Guided Independent Study10Formative assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay plan 1750 words1-7Comments and individual feedback
Essay plan 2750 words1-7Comments and individual feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 1503,000 words1-7Written feedback and discussion on individual request
Essay 2503,000 words1-7Result and discussion on individual request

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay 1Essay (3,000 words)1-7August/September reassessment period
Essay 2Essay (3,000 words)1-7August/September reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

- M. Davies, ‘Davies, Croall & Tyrer’s Criminal Justice’ (5 th edition, Pearson, 2015)

- N. Padfield and J. Bild, ‘Text and Materials on the Criminal Justice Process’ (5 th edition, Routledge, 2015)

- A. Sanders, R. Young, and M. Burton, ‘Criminal Justice’ (4 th edition, OUP, 2010).

- Web based and electronic resources to be provided on ELE page.

Key words search

Criminal Justice, Criminal Process, Evidence

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

Successful completion of LAW1036 Legal Foundations or LAW2035B Constitutional and Administrative Law 

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date