Sentencing: Law, Judges, Community

Subject 191-541 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

February, - 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: Feb 11, 12, 13, 19, 20. This subject will be taught as an intensive program from 10-12.30 and 2.00 to 4.30 each day
Total Time Commitment: Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate certificate/ diploma or fourth-year honours in criminology, socio-legal studies or sociology, or the Master of Criminology or Master of Social Policy.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Austin Lovegrove


Dr. Austin Lovegrove

Subject Overview: This subject is about the punishment of offenders. It examines how judges decide what sentences should be imposed on offenders. This is partly determined by sentencing law and partly by the judges' own sense of justice; public opinion also plays a role. This course discusses what sentences ought to be imposed in the interests of justice. What is considered right will depend on what it is hoped to be achieved by imposing the sanctions, such as deterrence as against rehabilitation; also relevant is what makes a case more or less serious. There are also the perennial sentencing problems - inadequate law, disparity between judges, and a community poorly informed about sentencing. And certain groups are said to pose special problems: indigenous offenders, drug offenders, female offenders, for example. Finally this subject examines research in sentencing particularly in relation to public opinion, deterrence and rehabilitation. As a result of this course, students should understand the main elements of the sentencing process, be able to identify problematic aspects of sentencing, and have a foundation for proposing solutions to these problems.
  • be able to understand the operation of the Victorian sentencing system;
  • be able to examine research relevant to the operation of the sentencing system;
  • be able to develop a critical approach to the understanding of sentencing.
Assessment: An essay of 5000 words 100% (due 4 weeks after the end of the course).
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available from the University Bookshop
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have highly developed cognitive, analytic and problem-solving skills;
  • have an advanced understanding of complex concepts and the ability to express them lucidly in writing and orally;
  • have an ability to plan work and to use time effectively;
  • have sophisticated awareness of cultural, ethnic and gender diversities and their implications.
Notes: Formerly available as 191-407 and 191-541. Students who have completed 191-407 or 191-541 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Related Course(s): Master of Criminology (CWT)

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