DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE LAW - 2021/2
Module code: LAW2091
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21.
These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/course-changes. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional specific information relating to your chosen programme.
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This module is interdisciplinary in nature, tracing the private and public conceptualisations of domestic violence through changing political, economic, and legal cultures. Domestic violence has until recently been a largely neglected area of criminal justice research and policy. Yet the last few decades have witnessed significant changes in the attention that politicians and criminal justice officials give toward modifying existing legal structures and crafting new policies designed to address the unique nature of domestic violence offending and victimisation. The module covers victimisation and perpetration, laws and policies, and criminal justice responses regarding domestic violence. Domestic violence in the United Kingdom is a focus, yet comparative contexts across the globe are considered as well.
School of Law
HAMILTON Melissa (Schl of Law)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 5
JACs code: M200
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
Indicative content includes:
Understanding domestic violence
- Types and intents
- Gendered nature
- Contextualising abusive relationships
Theoretical explanations for perpetration and victimisation in domestic violence
- Power and control
- Cycle of violence
- Connection between sports and domestic violence
- Trauma response
Laws and policies regarding domestic violence
- Historical development
- Specialised family violence statutes
- coercive control statute
- Application of general criminal law statutes to domestic abuse
Policing domestic violence
- Arrest policies
- Domestic violence disclosure scheme
- Use of cautions
Civil protective orders
Prosecuting domestic violence crimes
- Charging decisions
- Victims’ rights
- Vulnerable victims and witnesses
- Evidentiary issues
Courts and sentencing
- Specialised courts
- Sentencing guidelines
- Expert witnesses
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Examination||Open book examination 2 hours||100|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills as critical thinkers and communicators, while additionally showing their mastery of the course material and their engagement with relevant literature.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of a final examination at the end of the module with some combination of problem questions, essays, and objective questions.
Students will be afforded the opportunity to gain written feedback via a formative assessment that will not count toward the final grade but may improve the students’ summative assessments.
The assessment method for each module has been selected to test a variety of key skills, competences and outcomes as required by QAA. As such, the assessment method cannot be changed. Reasonable adjustment may be made on application subject to ALS approval AND only where such adjustment still allows for the required skills, key competences and outcomes to be assessed at an equivalent level.
- Help students develop skills in analysis, communication, and debate.
- Provide an overview of the nature and forms that domestic abuse can take, such as physical, sexual, economic, emotional, psychological, and pet abuse.
- Assess the impacts that domestic violence can have on individual victims, their families, and communities.
- Explore cases and controversies in historical and contemporary societies regarding domestic violence.
- Provide an historical overview of informal and formal social control tools employed (or not) to combat domestic violence.
- Explore the key theoretical explanations for victimisation and perpetration of domestic violence offenses.
- Draw theoretical insights from the academic domains of criminology, victimology, psychology, sociology, and legal studies.
- Examine the responses of police, prosecutors, and judges to domestic violence cases.
- Consider the effectiveness of domestic violence policies and laws.
|005||Demonstrate an understanding of the tensions that characterise historical and contemporary criminal justice processes with respect to domestic violence.||KCT|
|006||Identify the nature and forms that domestic violence may entail.||KCPT|
|007||Identify and contextualise the multiple impacts that domestic violence can have on victims, their families, and communities.||KCPT|
|001||Critically assess prosecutorial policies and charging discretion in cases of domestic violence.||KCPT|
|008||Identify core dimensions effecting our understandings of domestic violence, including the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, nationality, and social class.||KCPT|
|009||Show awareness of contemporary developments in laws and policies focused upon domestic violence, and analyse their effectiveness.||KCPT|
|010||Identify key theoretical explanations for victimisation and perpetration of domestic violence.||KCPT|
|011||Explain the ways to identify the primary aggressor in cases suggesting mutual battering.||KCPT|
|002||Debate the efficacy of victim-oriented policies.||KCPT|
|003||Analyse the civil protective order regime and its effectiveness.||KCPT|
|012||Critically assess the new legislation concerning coercive control.||KCPT|
|013||Critically assess police responses to domestic violence calls and arrest policies.||KCPT|
|004||Critically assess punishments assessed domestic violence perpetrators.||KCP|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Overall student workload
Independent Study Hours: 122
Seminar Hours: 22
Tutorial Hours: 6
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to introduce topics and contextualise their importance to criminal justice practices. Case studies as well as the results of empirical research on topics of interest are critically assessed. Each week’s materials are not to be read in isolation, but are designed to build on the cumulative knowledge students should gain as the module moves forward. Students are asked to consider, with a nuanced and critical analysis, why certain conduct regarding domestic violence has been criminalised or not and why. We consider the moral and policy considerations that legislators face in deciding to criminalise behaviors and the punishments that they tie to unlawful acts. The recently enacted English law on coercive control is a particular focus.
The learning and teaching methods include:
- An emphasis on interactive class discussion and debate.
- Encouragement in spotting relevant social, policy, and legal issues.
- Assigned readings and lecture material are integrated with class exercises.
- Forms of media (film, audio, and print) highlighting issues relevant to the course content will be incorporated.
- The summative examination is designed to allow students to demonstrate learning from the written materials, class discussions, and exercises.
Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
Reading list for DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE LAW : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/law2091
Programmes this module appears in
|Law LLB (Hons)||2||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.