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Criminal Justice Actors in Comparative Perspective

Vak
2013-2014

Entry requirements

Students who want to take this course need to be admitted to the master’s programme in Criminal Justice.

Brief course description

By means of a combined focus on both criminal justice in the books (how should the system and its institutions function) and criminal justice in action (how does the system actually function), this course provides students with a deep understanding of the organizations operating within criminal justice systems as well as the administration of criminal justice systems.

A broad overview will be provided of the theoretical origins and development of criminal justice systems in various jurisdictions, including the historical development of policing, prosecution, sentencing, corrections and re-entry. The focus will be on the five main institutions present in almost every criminal justice system: the police, the public prosecutor, the courts, the correctional system and the parole system. The course will explain how these institutions and corresponding actors operate, and will examine the nature of their interrelationships.

Although ‘criminal justice in the books might assume that the institutions and actors of the criminal justice system act as a coherent and unified system with aligned interests, this course will illustrate how the institutions often carry out their respective mandates independently, generating systemic or institutional fragmentation. Diverse organizational objectives and differences in the use of discretionary powers exacerbate the fragmentation, contributing to the more realistic view of the criminal justice system as a network of interrelated, yet independent, individual agencies and actors.

Students will have to formulate a relevant research question and answer this in a coherent paper and presentation, based on literature research and the analysis of secondary data referring to a country of choice. The aim is to produce a policy paper which takes into account current knowledge of the phenomenon, as well as how the different actors in the judicial chain deal with it and what lessons can be learned for future responses.

Learning objectives:

  • Critically reflect upon and explain discrepancies between law in the books and law in action with regard to the daily functioning of criminal justice actors and institutions in various jurisdictions;

  • Appoint the different theoretical underpinnings of the criminal justice apparatus in various jurisdictions and relate this to variations in the organization of the criminal justice apparatus in various countries;

  • Assess and compare the way in which the daily functioning of individual actors in various countries, as well as the functioning of the apparatus as a whole, relates to the concepts of legitimacy, accountability and effectiveness.

  • Demonstrate their understanding of the complex legal, political, social and organizational dynamics in which criminal justice actors are operating in a country of choice by writing and presenting a coherent research paper based on literature research and the analysis of secondary data in order to answer a well formulated research question. .

Rooster

Kies voor bachelor en master.

Format

10 Lectures
The ten lectures are equally divided between the five key institutions of criminal justice systems. The lectures will be in part given by guest lecturers working within these institutions in the Netherlands, allowing the students to gain a unique insight into the practice of criminal justice and law enforcement.

9 Seminars
During the seminars, students will be working on a comparative policy paper that will take the form of a group document. A research journal has to be kept on the progress of the group paper. The final policy papers will be presented during a closing session for an audience of teachers and practitioners.

Examination & grading requirements

  • Attend and actively participate in mandatory weekly lectures (if a student misses 1 or 2 sessions, an extra assignment follows. Absence with more than 3 sessions implies the student cannot complete the course successfully)

  • Final written examination

  • Attend field trip*

  • Group Policy Paper**

  • Presentation

Course grades are determined by:
Group Policy Paper & presentation (50%)
Final examination (50%)

All components should be at least a 5.5 in order to complete the course successfully. All grades only hold for the present academic year.

*The seminars and fieldtrip must be attended in order to pass this course. **The paper must be submitted via Safe Assign (Blackboard)

Blackboard

Bij dit vak wordt gebruik gemaakt van Blackboard.

Reading requirements

  1. F.J. Pakes (most recent edition) Comparative Criminal Justice 2nd edition, Devon: Willan Publishing
  2. M. Maguire, R. Morgan, R. Reiner (eds.) (most recent edition) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, Oxford: OUP
  3. A series of articles and chapters that will be distributed through Blackboard.

Admission

Students can enroll for this course via uSis

Contact

  • Course co-ordinator: prof. dr. J.P. van der Leun

  • Availability: Monday till Friday, through the secretariat

  • Telephone: 071 – 527 74 62

  • E-mail: criminologie@law.leidenuniv.nl

Institute/department

  • Institute: Criminal Law and Criminology

  • Department: Criminology

  • Opening hours: 09.00 to 12.30

  • Telephone secretariat: 071 – 527 74 62

  • E-mail: criminologie@law.leidenuniv.nl

Contract teaching

Those who are interested in taking this course on a contract basis (including an examination) can obtain further information on costs, registration, conditions, etc. from the website of the “Juridisch PAO”: http://www.paoleiden.nl/cms2/.