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Crimes of the Powerful (CRIM30005)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeCRIM30005
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject analyses the crimes and harms of the powerful. The subject examines the relationship between government, business and law both theoretically and through a series of case studies to explore the reasons behind business harms and crimes and why they are so difficult to tackle. The subject traces three different entry points into crimes of the powerful: corporate and white collar crime; business corruption and crimes of the powerful in a globalised economy. Students will explore a range of criminological theories that can help explain the harms perpetuated by the powerful as well as the techniques employed by the state in regulating white-collar and corporate misconduct. This includes the challenges of defining such harm as criminal and the strengths and weaknesses of trying to use the criminal law in curbing such activities. Case studies are used to deepen student's understanding of the breadth of such crime and harm as well as the the similarities and differences between them. Case studies include complex financial fraud, industrial disasters, professional misconduct, tax avoidance and environmental harm.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • have an understanding of the problems of definition of the various forms of business, occupational or corporate criminality.
  • have an appreciation of the importance of corporate criminality in the context of the social and political life.
  • have an understanding of the forms of individual business or occupational crime, including such forms of financial crime as complex financial fraud
  • have learned some of the problems which concern the regulation of white collar crime, including the features of law which cause particular problems in the control of corporate misconduct
  • communicate effectively in oral and written formats.

Last updated: 10 August 2019