LAWS366-17S1 (C) Semester One 2017

Sentencing Theory and Practice

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2017
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2017
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 3 March 2017
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 19 May 2017


Theoretical bases for sentencing: just deserts, utilitarianism and other theories. Plea negotiation. Sentencing Act 2002- process, principles and practice. Probation and parole. Proceeds of Crime legislation.

This course is designed to provide LLB and BCJ students with a deep understanding of the sentencing process, theories of sentencing and statutory sentencing principles, and with an understanding of the parole and probation systems.  It will also cover proceeds of crime legislation and its operation.

The course will emphasise the roles of different criminal justice professionals involved in the sentencing and post-sentencing process, and require students to apply that understanding in a mock sentencing process.  Guest lectures from relevant professionals will add a practical component to the theory.  The course will also familiarise students with current debates about the efficacy of different kinds of sentences and with the ethical issues arising in the sentencing process.

Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will, by the end of the course, be able to:
  •  Demonstrate an understanding of the sentencing process in New Zealand and the sentencing principles guiding judges;
  •  Demonstrate an understanding of the legal basis for, and practical operation of, the probation and parole systems and the nature and effect of proceeds of crime legislation;
  •  Demonstrate familiarity with the roles of different criminal justice professionals involved in the sentencing process and parole and probation systems;
  •  Critically engage with current debates on the efficacy and ethics of different forms of sentencing.



Equivalent Courses

Recommended Preparation

Timetable Note

Students will be expected to attend lectures and workshops and to engage in approximately 60 hours of self-directed research.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Jeremy Finn


Debra Wilson


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Essay 11 May 2017 30%
Group Work & Presentation 23 May 2017 10%
Final Examination 60%

Assessment may consist of a combination of an essay, a test or exam and participation in a simulated sentencing.

The assessment for this course will be confirmed in the first week of lectures.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $775.00

International fee $3,525.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 10 people apply to enrol.

For further information see Faculty of Law .

All LAWS366 Occurrences

  • LAWS366-17S1 (C) Semester One 2017