University of Technology Sydney

78270 Crime, Victims and Criminal Justice

Requisite(s): ((94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04236 Juris Doctor OR 142 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04250 Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration OR 94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04363 Juris Doctor Master of Intellectual Property OR 94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04364 Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate Trade Mark Law and Practice) AND 70106c Principles of Public International Law AND 70107c Principles of Company Law) OR (94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04320 Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate Professional Legal Practice AND 70106 Principles of Public International Law)
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses. See access conditions.


The status and role of crime victims in the criminal justice system have undergone significant changes in recent decades across common law jurisdictions. From outsiders to the processes of modern criminal justice, victims are emerging as central to 21st century criminal justice policy. However, the politicisation of the crime victim and shift to a victim-oriented criminal justice system is controversial from multiple perspectives including: the defendant's entitlement to a fair hearing, the integrity of legal proceedings, and victim wellbeing.

This subject adopts a critical victimological approach to examine the status and role of victims in contemporary criminal justice and engage with on-going and emerging debates. Victimology is a multidisciplinary field in which researchers from a diverse range of disciplines – including law, criminology, psychology, sociology, and anthropology – work. A critical approach seeks to challenge positivist victimology that relies on standardised definitions and measures of victimisation and question the social, political and legal construction of 'crime' and 'crime victim'. Who are legitimate victims of crime? Does the law perpetuate a particular view of the crime victim? A critical approach also goes behind the words of the law and policy, to consider how it is interpreted and applied, in order to better understand the role of crime victims in criminal justice processes. Can and/or should traditional legal processes accommodate the concerns and rights of victims?

This subject explores these themes and questions, drawing from scholarship and research that use a wide range of methodological approaches, and guest speakers.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.