ACR214 - Inequality, Power and Justice

Unit details


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online, Community Based Delivery (CBD)*

Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Emma Ryan

Students must complete 4 credit points at any unit level

Incompatible with: Nil
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the trimester undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - on-campus unit enrolment:

1 x 1-hour lecture per week, 1 x 1-hour seminar per week

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - online unit enrolment:

1 x 1-hour lecture per week (recordings provided), 1 x 1-hour online seminar per week


*Community Based Delivery (CBD) is for National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation NIKERI Institute students only.


While criminal justice systems across the world aim to promote neutrality and objectivity, extensive historical and contemporary research identifies how these processes can also discriminate against certain classes of people. For example, criminal justice processes can expose women, Indigenous people, people with intellectual disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people as well as other identifiable populations to specific forms of harm which can result in death, serious injury and more widespread cultural persecution or even destruction. This unit adopts a critical framework to analyse Australian criminal justice and its legacies of inequality. It is informed by a range of critical Indigenous, gender and disability perspectives that encourage us to understand and question mainstream understandings of crime and its control. The unit explores how a range of criminal justice interventions can compromise the pursuit of self-determination for individuals and groups who experience structural disadvantage, which commonly results in cycles of criminalisation, discrimination and trauma. The unit also examines how critical approaches to examining discrimination can support the development of improved practices that enhance equality and safety in the criminal justice system and help to recognise and limit harms generated by existing practices.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes
Critically analyse and report on scholarship relating to social injustice in the criminal justice system.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO8: Global Citizenship

Work collaboratively with others to effectively communicate the findings and analyses of criminological concepts, theories and technical knowledge using multimedia.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO7: Teamwork

Describe and problematise one or more major trends in disproportionate enforcement and unjust treatment within the criminal justice system.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO8: Global Citizenship

Identify and analyse national and/or global developments that challenge and seek to reform, decolonise or abolish criminal justice institutions.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO5: Problem Solving

GLO8: Global citizenship

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year.


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1: Research and Writing Exercise 1000 words
or equivalent
25% Week 4
Assessment 2: (Group) Presentation 15-minute presentation 25% Information not yet available
Assessment 3: Report 2000 words
or equivalent
50% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

There is no prescribed text. Unit materials are provided via the unit site. This includes unit topic readings and references to further information.

Unit Fee Information

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