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CRIM13-315: Miscarriages of Justice May 2018 [Standard]

General information

While there is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of trials produce justified convictions or acquittals, there have been a number of high profile cases where the conclusions are questionable or where decisions have been overturned. This subject examines some of those high profile cases to decipher the systemic causes of such failures through an understanding of the processes involved in the criminal justice system. The subject also addresses the roles of investigators, the media, forensic science, expert witnesses, lawyers, juries, eyewitness testimony and the appeals process to determine how these may impact on cases of injustice. Students who successfully complete this subject will have a thorough understanding of the main causal factors for miscarriages of justice worldwide and will be apprised of the possible remedies. In addition, students will be asked to re-analyse documentary evidence, conduct interviews where appropriate and seek additional sources of information about a specific miscarriage of justice case to make recommendations for future action.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:CRIM13-315
Subject title:Miscarriages of Justice
Subject level:Undergraduate
Semester/Year:May 2018
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Seminar: x12 (Total hours: 36) - Seminar 1


Prescribed resources:
  • J Acker (2011). Wrongful conviction - Law, Science and Policy. Carolina Academic Press
  • Sangah, B et al (2010). Forensic Investigations and Miscarriages of Justice: The Rhetoric meets the Reality. Irwin Law
After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
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Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


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At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

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Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Demostrate knowledge of the criminal justice system through an analysis of miscarriage cases.
  2. Understand the theoretical and practical reasons why miscarriages occur.
  3. Learn how to critically analyse possible cases of miscarriage of justice.
  4. Develop an understanding of how the criminal justice system can be improved in order to reduce miscarriages of justice.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
*Class Participation Attendance and Participation 20% Ongoing 1, 2, 3, 4.
Presentation § This presentation may be single or group and this will be dependent on enrollments. 30% Progressive 1, 2, 3, 4.
Computer-Aided Examination (Closed) End of semester exam 50% Final Examination Period 1, 2, 3, 4.
  • § Indicates group/teamwork-based assessment
  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A late penalty will be applied to all overdue assessment tasks unless an extension is granted by the subject coordinator. The standard penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment per day late with no assessment to be accepted seven days after the due date. Where a student is granted an extension, the penalty of 10% per day late starts from the new due date.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Disability support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Subject curriculum

Introduction to course and assessment.

Factors in miscarriages and standards of evidence.

Looks at the crucial role that identification evidence plays in miscarriages

Looks at the role of police and prosecutors in miscarriages of justice.

Examination of our legal system.

Examines the special link between homicides and miscarriages of justice.

Possible miscarriage, you decide.

How to fix the problem.

Approved on: Mar 19, 2018. Edition: 2.2