Criminal Law and Justice


The Faculty of Law has always had a strong focus on criminal law and justice, and with several new members of staff concentrating in this subject, it seems well set to continue as New Zealand’s leading faculty in this area.

The faculty offers a number of courses focusing upon criminal justice issues, and examines the classic conflict between the individual and the state from a variety of perspectives.

Students have written their LLB Honours dissertations and masters and doctoral theses in criminal justice-related subjects. Recent topic areas include:

  • Crime and the Media
  • Criminology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • International Criminal Law
  • Juries and the Criminal Trial Process
  • Police Investigations
  • Restorative Justice and Tikanga Māori
  • Torture as an Investigative Tool
  • Victims and Criminal Justice
  • Victims’ Claims Act
  • Whakamama in the Criminal Justice System

Academic staff researchers and teachers


Academic staff research areas


The following members of staff conduct teaching or research in the area of Criminal Law and Justice:

Name Field of Research
Optican, Scott Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Comparative Criminal Procedure, Criminal Justice, Criminal Trial Processes, Police Investigations, Criminology
Tolmie, Julia Criminal Defences, Domestic Violence, Intoxication/Alcoholism, Feminist Legal Theory

Courses available


Criminal Law (LAW 201) is taught as one of the compulsory courses that every law student must take in Part II. In addition, the faculty offers the following courses that focus upon criminal justice issues, or concentrate on criminal law related matters as a major component of the course.

Undergraduate Courses
LAW 201 - Criminal Law
LAWCOMM 426 - Law and Information Technology
LAWGENRL 401 - Evidence
LAWGENRL 425 - Psychiatry and the Law
LAWGENRL 440 - Youth Justice
LAWPUBL 423 - Criminology
LAWPUBL 430 - Criminal Procedure
LAWPUBL 451 - Counterterrorism Law and Policy
LAWHONS 706 - Criminal Law and Policy

Postgraduate Courses

LAWGENRL 712 - Therapeutic Jurisprudence