Criminal Law and Procedure

Part 1: Criminal Law

Through studying this part of the unit, the learner will understand:

  • The nature of crime and the difference between crimes and torts
  • What is meant by the burden of proof in crime
  • The elements of a crime – Actus Reus and Mens Rea 
  • The differences between Strict Liability crimes and those requiring intent
  • The general defences of mistake, automatism, insanity, intoxication, duress and necessity
  • What is meant by the crime of homicide and how to distinguish between lawful and unlawful homicide
  • The differences between causation in fact and causation in law
  • The meaning of the crime of murder 
  • The differences between murder and manslaughter
  • The meaning of voluntary manslaughter and special defences
  • The meaning of involuntary manslaughter
  • The crime of theft and the differences between theft, fraud, obtaining by deception, burglary and robbery
  • The differences between the sentences that can be imposed for murder and manslaughter

Part 2: Criminal Procedure

Through studying this part of the unit, the learner will understand:

  • The role of the Crown Prosecution Service in criminal proceedings
  • The standards of proof in a criminal trial compared with that in a civil trial
  • The Police powers of arrest and the operation of the main provisions of PACE
  • The concept of bail and the criteria of the court in deciding upon bail
  • The availability of legal aid in connection with criminal proceedings 
  • The jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court, Crown Court and Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
  • The procedure on a summary trial for a summary offence
  • The difference in procedure where the offence is a hybrid offence
  • The procedure for the transfer of indictable offenders from the Magistrates Court to the Crown Court for trial
  • Each stage of the procedure on a trial on indictment 
  • The differences between the trial of an adult and the trial of a young person
  • The function in a criminal trial of the Judge and the Jury
  • How a Jury is selected and who is eligible and not eligible to sit on a Jury
  • The different types of sentences that can be passed by a trial Judge

Coursework: Achievement test and written assignments