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Location Domestic International
Gold Coast Study Period 6 Study Period 6

Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Advanced

Former School/College

Former School of Law and Justice

Unit aim

Provides students with an overview of the way law and judicial systems affect the individual – be it in the position of a lawyer or a person who is in a variety of ways affected by the legal machinery in his or her daily private and public life. Students will learn how various theories reflect on the process of internalisation of law, (i.e. on the very fact that people through the process of socialisation need to slowly acquire an understanding about the nature of social prohibitions).
An introduction to psychological and psychoanalytic theories will help students understand why some people internalise social prohibitions and other do not. The students will get a clear understanding of how psychoanalysis, psychology and psychiatry can help legal practitioners.
Students will also learn about new studies in the domain of neuroscience and their contribution to legal reasoning.

Unit content

  1. How do people internalise law?
  2. Difference between neurotic, psychotic and perverse subjective structure and their attitude towards social prohibitions
  3. Crime and subjective attitudes towards punishment
  4. Shame and guilt
  5. Psychopaths – lack of remorse and lack of compassion
  6. Psychiatry and the power of experts in the legal domain
  7. Problems with forensics fraud
  8. Neuroscience and law
  9. CSI effect
  10. Adolescents and crime
  11. Psychiatry, crime and genetics
  12. Psychological problems in legal profession

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: , GA2: , GA3: , GA4: , GA5: , GA6: , GA7:
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 Analyse the connection between psychology and law;
2 Demonstrate an understanding of the role able to be played by psychiatry and psychology in the criminal justice system;
3 Describe and assess the role of the experts (psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists) in the judicial system and critically reflect on fraudulent testimonies;
4 Critically analyse the extent, consistency and adequacy of the legal system's appreciation of psychological knowledge in the contexts of the criminal and civil law.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse the connection between psychology and law;
    • GA1:
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the role able to be played by psychiatry and psychology in the criminal justice system;
    • GA4:
  3. Describe and assess the role of the experts (psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists) in the judicial system and critically reflect on fraudulent testimonies;
    • GA4:
  4. Critically analyse the extent, consistency and adequacy of the legal system's appreciation of psychological knowledge in the contexts of the criminal and civil law.
    • GA2:

Prescribed texts

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future teaching periods.