JCU Australia logo

Subject Search

Try new Subject Search!

We've released the new Subject Search, designed to be simpler and faster than the application below.

HI2007 - Crime and Punishment in Australia

Credit points: 3
Year: 2021
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: College of Arts, Society & Education

This subject investigates crime and punishment as key motifs of Australian history from colonisation through to the early twenty-first century. Commencing with the incarceration and transportation of convicts from the late eighteenth century, Crime and Punishment investigates frontier lawlessness and violence, political and armed uprisings, dishonesty and corruption, and their penalties across the nineteenth century. Into the twentieth century, the subject investigates the codification of law and separation into state and federal jurisdictions. Topics include, organised and disorganised crime, gangs and the underworld, narcotics and prostitution, individual and corporate crimes, and protest and sedition. It concludes with an assessment of contemporary criminality, crime solving, sentencing regimes, and detention practices. Each topic area includes a parallel investigation of the construction and consumption of crime and punishment as culture through an examination of folk traditions, media representations, literary and artistic treatments, and dramatisation through radio, film and television.

Learning Outcomes

  • attain knowledge and appropriate analytical skills in research and writing history, demonstrating competence in the use and interpretation of resources and archives including digital archives;
  • apply historical techniques in analysis, demonstrating an ability to interpret and evaluate specific contexts and periods in which crime and punishment occurs;
  • classify the broad categories of crime and punishment within the specific, historic, social and cultural contexts of Australia, demonstrating an ability to recognise the key branches of law and their functions;
  • differentiate forms of crime and punishment and their development within historical social and cultural contexts, demonstrating an ability to recognise and identify change across time;
  • identify the application of law within specific historical social and cultural contexts, demonstrating an ability to recognise its codification and application across time;
  • deconstruct representations of crime and punishment, demonstrating an ability to identify different forms and types of cultural construction and their consumption, leading to a greater self-awareness and critical skills in the analysis of crime and punishment in Australia.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Test/Quiz 1 - (30%) - Individual
  • Oral > Presentation 1 - (20%) - Individual
  • Participation > Class participation - (10%) - Individual
  • Written > Essay (including multi-draft) 1 - (40%) - Individual.
Prerequisites: ANY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: BA1001, BA1002, CU1010, CY1001, EL1001,HI1302, SS1010.


Study Period 1, External
Census Date 25-Mar-2021
Coord/Lect: Professor Richard Nile.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 12 hours - Online activities
  • 20 hours online content
  • assessment and self-directed study
Method of Delivery: WWW - LearnJCU

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.