Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Law, Justice and Power is the core subject for second year students undertaking a major in Crime, Justice and Legal Studies. Bringing together interdisciplinary approaches with concepts of 'power' and 'justice' the subject explores legal institutions and law in action. The limitations and potentials of law for securing just outcomes are considered through a study of criminal justice, therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice and human rights. This subject will provide students with a general understanding of institutions and processes, as well as an appreciation of the limits involved in law as practice and as power. This subject addresses La Trobe's Sustainability Thinking Essential. Sustainability Thinking entails deep appreciation of how the choices we make affects the natural, economic, social, political and cultural systems now and in the future. In Law, Justice and Power, Sustainability Thinking entails deep appreciation of how the choices we make in the context of law affects social, political and cultural systems now and in the future, particularly as they can be understood to relate to how power works and how justice is experienced.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorKirsty Duncanson

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesN/A

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites 15 credit points of any first year Crime, Justice and Legal Studies subject and 15 credit points of any Humanities and Social Sciences subject, or subject coordinator's approval


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

COMMUNICATION - Communicating and Influencing
COMMUNICATION - Cultural Intelligence and Global Perspective
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Creativity and Innovation
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Research and Evidence-Based Inquiry
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Adaptability and Self-Management
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Ethical and Social Responsibility
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Leadership and Teamwork

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Assess knowledge and practices relevant to law, justice and power in light of ethical and cultural considerations. From a critical and interdisciplinary perspective, discuss the centrality and complexity of power and the elusiveness of justice.
02. Discuss concepts and perspectives relevant to law, justice and power and the principles, processes, values and functions of the Australian legal system.
03. Facilitate and participate in group discussions of the principles, processes, values and functions of Australian criminal justice system, and organisations in an international context.
04. Identify and write about current trends, issues and debates relevant to the gap between the theory and practice of law, as well as problems in knowledge or practices relevant.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2020, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorKirsty Duncanson

Class requirements

Seminar Week: 10 - 22
One 1.50 h seminar per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

Unscheduled Online Class Week: 10 - 22
One 1.50 h unscheduled online class per week from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*
Seminar Exercises (equivalent to 800 words in total) Five Exercises delivered as group work across the seminarsN/AN/AN/ANo20 SILO2, SILO3
One 2000-word research essayN/AN/AN/ANo50 SILO1, SILO4
Group Presentation (equivalent to 1200 words)N/AN/AN/ANo30 SILO2, SILO3, SILO4