Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Criminal Law: Controversial Issues
Academic Year
Semester 2
Also available in
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
GF11410 Welsh-language variant
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
LA35930 Pre-2015 version of Part 2 Criminal Law
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
LA15930 or GF15930 Pre-2015 versions of Part 1 Criminal Law
LA13920 or GF13920 Criminal Law

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 4 x 1 Hour Seminars
Lecture 16 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  (2000 words)  100%
Semester Assessment Non-assessed MCQs  0%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  (2000 words)  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Identify and explain some of the most controversial areas in the criminal law.
2. Identify and analyse the elements forming the basis of criminal liability and responsibility.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant constituent elements of major defences and offences and be able to apply them to factual situations in order to solve problems.
4. Evaluate and analyse the scope of the criminal law, its current problems, and options for reform.
5. Construct convincing and cogent arguments on the basis of relevant law and evidence, in order to develop skills in reading, understanding and applying the relevant legal texts (be it cases or legislation) to legal problems; and to interpret and critically analyse legal rules and texts.

Brief description

Is it fair that someone could be convicted of robbery even though that person merely used the slightest degree of force (e.g. the slightest touch or nudge)? Given that ingesting intoxicants may be neither immoral nor illegal why does voluntary intoxication attract criminal liability? Is it fair that at present the distinction between a 'sane diabetic' and an 'insane diabetic' hangs by a thin thread: 'external factors' (alcohol or insulin) versus 'internal factors' (lack of food or insufficient insulin)? The module is designed to explore the most controversial of criminal law topics in a unique, fun and therefore accessible way. It will focus on controversial issues arising from non-fatal offences against the person, property offences, inchoate offences: attempt, conspiracy and assisting and encouraging under the Serious Crime Act 2007, defences of incapacity and mental conditions and general defences.


  • Introduction to Criminal Law: Controversial Issues
  • Defences of incapacity and mental conditions: Insanity and diminished responsibility; Intoxication
  • General defences: Self Defence; Duress
  • Inchoate Offences
  • Attempt
  • Encouraging or assisting
  • Conspiracy
  • Non-fatal offences against the person: Assault and battery; Actual bodily harm; Grievous bodily harm
  • Property offences: Theft and burglary; Fraud; Robbery
  • Non assessed MCQs
Seminar topics: Defences; Inchoate Offences; Non-fatal offences against the person and Property offences


The module aims to provide students with the opportunity to understand and examine critically the evidence, concepts, debates, and controversies associated with the study of criminal law. They will also be informed of the key cases, and legislation which govern the criminal law.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Written communication in the examination
Improving own Learning and Performance Pre and post-lecture research and seminar preparation; Pre and post-lecture research and seminar preparation; using legal databases in preparation for seminar work and the examination
Information Technology In lectures, pre and post-lecture research; seminar and examination preparation
Personal Development and Career planning Learning throughout the module will be relevant to a career in the legal profession
Problem solving Practical application in seminars and in the non-assessed test
Research skills Pre and post-lecture research, seminar and examination preparation
Subject Specific Skills Legal research: use of legal databases as a resource for statute and case law; Reading primary sources in the way of cases and legislation; Problem solving exercises in seminars will assist in examination problem-solving style questions, and, more widely, in the legal profession; Pre and post-lecture research, seminar and examination preparation; Seminar work; preparation and group discussions
Team work Seminar work; preparation and group discussions


This module is at CQFW Level 4