1st Edition

The Teaching of Criminal Law The pedagogical imperatives

Edited By Kris Gledhill, Ben Livings Copyright 2017
    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Teaching of Criminal Law provides the first considered discussion of the pedagogy that should inform the teaching of criminal law. It originates from a survey of criminal law courses in different parts of the English-speaking world which showed significant similarity across countries and over time. It also showed that many aspects of substantive law are neglected. This prompted the question of whether any real consideration had been given to criminal law course design. This book seeks to provide a critical mass of thought on how to secure an understanding of substantive criminal law, by examining the course content that best illustrates the thought process of a criminal lawyer, by presenting innovative approaches for securing active learning by students, and by demonstrating how criminal law can secure other worthwhile graduate attributes by introducing wider contexts.

    This edited collection brings together contributions from academic teachers of criminal law from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Ireland who have considered issues of course design and often implemented them. Together, they examine several innovative approaches to the teaching of criminal law that have been adopted in a number of law schools around the world, both in teaching methodology and substantive content. The authors offer numerous suggestions for the design of a criminal law course that will ensure students gain useful insights into criminal law and its role in society.

    This book helps fill the gap in research into criminal law pedagogy and demonstrates that there are alternative ways of delivering this core part of the law degree. As such, this book will be of key interest to researchers, academics and lecturers in the fields of criminal law, pedagogy and teaching methods.

    1. Introduction

    Kris Gledhill and Ben Livings

    2. Building Block or Stumbling Block? Teaching Actus Reus and Mens Rea in Criminal Law

    Fiona Donson and Catherine O’Sullivan

    3. Teaching the Elements of Crimes

    John Child

    4. Enhancing Interactivity in the Teaching of Criminal Law: Using Response Technology in the Lecture Theatre

    Kevin J Brown and Colin RG Murray

    5. Using Problem-Based Learning to Enhance the Study of Criminal Law

    Ben Fitzpatrick

    6. Turning Criminal Law Upside Down

    Jo Boylan-Kemp and Rebecca Huxley-Binns

    7. Criminal Law Pedagogy and the Australian State Codes

    Thomas Crofts and Stella Tarrant

    8. Teaching Criminal Law as Statutory Interpretation

    Jeremy Gans

    9. Shaking the Foundations: Criminal Law as a Means of Critiquing the Assumptions of the Centrality of Doctrine in Law

    Alex Steel

    10. The Challenges and Benefits of Integrating Criminal Law, Litigation and Evidence

    Adam Jackson and Kevin Kerrigan

    11. ‘Crime and the Criminal Process’: Challenging Traditions, Breaking Boundaries

    Phil Scraton and John Stannard

    12. Context and Connection

    Ben Livings

    13. Teaching and Learning Criminal Law ‘in Context’: Taking ‘Context’ Seriously

    Arlie Loughnan

    14. Teaching Indigenous and Minority Students and Perspectives in Criminal Law

    Khylee Quince

    15. Introducing Feminist Legal Jurisprudence through the Teaching of Criminal Law

    Julia Tolmie

    16. Choice

    Kris Gledhill

    17. The Absence of Regulatory Crime from the Criminal Law Curriculum

    Shane Kilcommins, Susan Leahy and Eimear Spain

    18. Conclusion: Looking to the future 

    Kris Gledhill and Ben Livings


    Kris Gledhill is Associate Professor at AUT Law School, Auckland, New Zealand.

    Ben Livings is Senior Lecturer at the Law School of the University of New England in New South Wales, Australia.

    'We can lament the lingering influence of ‘old school’ doctrine-focused criminal law teaching or we can articulate better ways to teach and study criminal law. The contributors to this fine collection are to be congratulated for taking the latter more constructive path. Developing curricula that extend beyond the traditional ‘general principles + homicide + theft’ formula, refusing to artificially extract criminal law rules from the practical and procedures by which they are operationalised, taking historical, cultural, political, economic and other contextual factors seriously, valuing Indigenous and feminist perspectives and insights, employing problem-based learning – it is heartening to read that these and other exciting approaches are well on the way to becoming the ‘new normal’ in criminal law teaching.'

    Luke McNamara, Professor, Faculty of Law, UNSW & co-author of D Brown et al, Criminal Laws: Materials and Commentary on Criminal Law and Process of New South Wales (Federation Press, 6th ed, 2015)

    "Gledhill and Livings’ collection provides criminal law teachers with a uniquely useful resource to aid pedagogical self-reflection and future conversations with various stakeholders. It serves as an important catalyst to take the legal pedagogy agenda forward."

    Daniel Pascoe, 'Criminal Law Pedagogy', Legal Quarterly Vol. 72 No. 2 (2021) 406–410, DOI: 10.53386/nilq.v72i2.729

    "This publication is a useful, timely, innovative, and aspirational contribution to a small body of literature on subject-specific teaching and learning methods used in law schools. It is a worthwhile addition to any criminal law library and serves as a catalogue of new ideas and useful reminders for anyone involved in the teaching of criminal law. The many diverse and well-developed chapters of this book offer great insight into the ways in which criminal law is, has been, and ought to be taught at university."

    Andreas Schloenhardt, Professor of Criminal law, The University of Queensland, Australia.