Please check the Arts & Science Timetable for current CRI undergraduate course offerings.
In the introductory courses (CRI205H1 Introduction to Criminology, CRI210H1 Criminal Justice, CRI215H1 Introduction to Sociolegal Studies, and CRI225H1 Criminal Law) students will learn how to think critically about the material and set the tone for advanced courses in the program.
In third-year courses, students are encouraged to think critically about the assumptions behind the various views of crime and the criminal justice system that are part of our everyday discussions. The focus is on going beyond simple views about crime and the justice system toward a more critical - and evidence-based - understanding of the general phenomena that relate to crime.
In fourth-year courses, students have an opportunity to study a number of specialized topics in a seminar setting. These courses examine in depth topics that were covered in lower level courses. The seminar courses are often connected to the instructors' research interests. Students in 400-level courses will be required to complete extensive readings, research and writing assignments in addition to actively participating in seminar discussion.
400-Level CRI Topics Course Descriptions
Topics: White Collar Crime
Instructor: Leon Kosals
This course examines the theories and empirical research on white-collar crime (WCC) in Canada and around the globe. The theoretical explanations for WCC trends are considered in the broad social context of globalization, the fourth industrial revolution, the growing level of education, the leaps in inequality, and social and territorial mobility. The focus of the discussions is on the differences and similarities of WCC to other types of crime; who are perpetrators and the victims; what are the harms and costs of WCC; how the current criminal justice system deals with WCC and faces new challenges; and what are the contemporary policy-making approaches to its reduction. Various types of WCC are studied including fraud, corruption, conspiracy, embezzlement, cybercrime, tax evasion, corporate crime, and criminal organizations. The course includes four major parts: i) Understanding WCC, ii) Major Types of WCC, iii) Actors of WCC, and iv) Policing and Regulating WCC.
Topics: Regulation and Oversight of the Criminal Justice System
Instructor: Jihyun Kwon
In this course, we will learn about key issues and debates around criminal justice system oversight. In particular, we will consider the how’s and why’s of oversight failures through the critical examination of the existing criminological, as well as regulation, governance and public administration literature. We will then apply the scholarly debates and concepts on recent cases and structural reforms (or failed attempts to reform) to gain greater understanding of the topic.
Topics: Forensic Evidence and Criminal Procedure: Critical Approaches
Instructor: Tyler King
In this seminar course we examine forensic evidence as it travels, spatially and temporally, throughout the entire criminal justice lifecycle – from crime scene to courtroom to forensic hospital/prison. This is not strictly a law course nor a science course, but rather a socio-legal exploration into the different forms (even a single piece of) forensic evidence takes, as well as how different actors use and deploy this evidence in various contexts, and with what effects. From DNA to brain scans, we discuss and problematize some of the common tropes surrounding techno-scientific evidence, including its objectivity, relevance, and necessity in/to legal decision making and knowledge production.
Topics: Law & Social Movements
Instructor: Mary Mitchell
This seminar examines the possibilities and limitations of pursuing social change through law and courts. Focusing on the United States and Canada, we will explore key questions at the intersections between law and social movements, such as: How does law facilitate the articulation of social problems by social movements? When, how, and why have social movements turned to rights claiming and to what effect? What roles have cause lawyers played in social movement mobilizing?
Topics: Introduction to Chinese Policing -- November 29, 2023: Course cancelled.
Instructor: Huibin Lin
The police system in China, under the Chinese Communist Party, offers unique insights on the maintenance of social order, law enforcement, as well as crime control. A discussion on Chinese policing brings up numerous questions and concerns – from human rights violations and surveillance technologies to upholding the authority of the central government. How did this police system come to be? What were the cultural, historical, and political contexts that help shape Chinese policing presented to us today? Who were/are the key players? What does everyday policing look like on the ground level? Throughout this course, we will first focus on the historical, cultural, and political contexts that gave birth to modern policing in China, placing it in a comparative perspective. Then we will examen policing practices, cultures, controversies, and dilemmas that are present in ground level, everyday policing.