Taming Business? Crime, Law and Politics

Subject CRIM90004 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment: Not available




Recommended Background Knowledge:

Criminology at Undergraduate level

Non Allowed Subjects:

191-520 Compliance, Regulation and Crime

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Assoc. Prof. Fiona Haines fsh@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

The activities of business are central to our lives providing us not only with a range of goods and services but also the jobs on which many depend. Yet, businesses from the small local shop to large international corporations also generate significant harm resulting in death and injury, significant financial losses and environmental destruction. This subject analyses a range of such harms as well as the critical relationship between business and government that frames how these harms are dealt with. The subject analyses the problem of control at two distinct levels: firstly the challenges associated with institutionalising an effective regulatory framework and secondly problems with ensuring high levels of compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Students critically analyse how governments and those afffected have sought to control business in the global economy. In doing so, students analyse the growing use of corporate codes of conduct, and the central role played by NGOs. Students completing the subject will have a good understanding of the political and economic challenges that are associated with controlling business harm and will be able to assess criticially a variety of different forms of controls in different settings.


On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • understand the complex range of, and reasons for, harmful business conduct
  • critically assess a range of methods for reducing harms associated with business
  • conduct library and field research into areas of business harm and regulation
  • present orally and in writing reports of this research.

A short essay of 1000 words (20%) due early in semester; a brief oral presentation (10%) arranged through the second half of semester (speaking notes of 500 words or less will be submitted); and a research essay of 3000 words 70% due in the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed.Students who fail to meet this hurdle requirement will be deemed ineligible to submit the final piece of assessment for this subject.Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment that is submitted after the due date and up to 10 working days late without an approved extension will be marked on a pass/fail basis only. Assessment that is submitted later than 10 working days will not be accepted or marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available for purchase from the University Bookshop. Case studies for discussion will be provided by the School.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Have an advanced understanding of the relevant knowledge base in the specialist area.
  • have the ability to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in the specialist area.
  • have well-developed problem-solving skills in the specialist area.
  • Understand the complex range of, and reasons for, compliant or deviant conduct.
  • have significant capacity to articulate knowledge and understanding in oral and written presentations.
  • have a capacity to engage where appropriate with issues in contemporary society.
  • describe and evaluate regulatory techniques and practices.
  • conduct library and field research into areas of regulator control.
  • present orally and in writing reports of their research.
Related Course(s): Master of Criminology (CWT)
Master of Public Policy and Management (Coursework)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Criminology
Socio-Legal studies
Socio-legal Studies

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