Crimes of the Powerful

Subject 191-314 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2.5-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: .
Prerequisites: Usually 25 points of second year criminology subjects.
Corequisites: .
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


Assoc Profs Fiona Haines & Adam Sutton
Subject Overview:

This subject analyses the crimes and harms of the powerful. It explores the types of harm: financial, physical and environmental that are perpetrated by government corporations and individual white-collar offenders. Various case studies of governmental corporate and white-collar crime such as complex financial fraud, industrial disasters, professional misconduct and tax avoidance are used to demonstrate the challenges associated with deciding whether harmful behaviour by the powerful should be defined as crime and the difficulties inherent in using criminal law to curb such activities. Students will explore a range of criminological theories that can help explain the harms perpetuated by the powerful as well as the techniques employed by the state in regulating white-collar and corporate misconduct.

Assessment: A group presentation (15%), an essay of 2500 words (3000 words for fourth year students) 60% (due mid-semester) and a take-home exam of 1000 words 25% (due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available from the University Bookshop.
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options: This subject is a level 2 or level 3 subject and is not available to new generation degree students as a breadth option in 2008.
This subject or an equivalent will be available as breadth in the future.
Breadth subjects are currently being developed and these existing subject details can be used as guide to the type of options that might be available.
2009 subjects to be offered as breadth will be finalised before re-enrolment for 2009 starts in early October.
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have highly developed cognitive, analytical and problem-solving skills;

  • have an advanced understanding of complex concepts and the ability to express them lucidly in writing and orally;

  • have sophisticated awareness of cultural, ethnic and gender diversities and their implications;

  • have an ability to plan work and to use time effectively.


Formerly available as 191-417 Corporate and White Collar Crime. Students who have completed 191-417 are not permitted to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Diploma in Arts (Criminology)
Diploma in Arts (Sociology)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Australian Indigenous Studies)
Graduate Certificate in Criminology
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Australian Indigenous Studies)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Criminology)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Sociology)

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