Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit introduces students to contemporary theories of punishment. To do this, punishment needs to be seen in the broader context of economical, political, social, historical and cultural changes. Starting from an international perspective, it explains the mechanisms that have influenced penal policies over the last decades. The unit enables students, on a theoretical and an empirical level, to critically examine to what extent macro and meso analyses are able to explain convergences and divergences in penal practices.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) explain critical drivers of contemporary penal policy on a global and local scale; (2) critically analyse the penal situation in Australia, including local differences; (3) apply their developed knowledge of penal policy and practices to actual cases; (4) demonstrate critical research skills appropriate for locating and assessing relevant primary and secondary materials; and (5) communicate information, ideas and argument related to the field of penal policy in a coherent and logical manner in both written and oral forms.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research essay; (2) group case study; and (3) class participation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Hilde Tubex
Unit rules
Enrolment in
20810 Doctor of Juridical Science
Enrolment in
LAWS5223 Theories of Justice and Punishment
Contact hours
August Intensive. 7-28 August 2023. Attendance Compulsory

Cunneen, C., et al. Penal Culture and Hyperincarceration: The Revival of the Prison Farnham: Ashgate 2013

Tonry, M., ed. Determinants of Penal Policies. In Crime, Punishment, and Politics in a Comparative Perspective, vol. 36 'Crime and Justice: A Review of Research': University of Chicago Press 2007

Tubex, H. Contemporary Penal Policies: Oxford Handbooks Online in Criminology and Criminal Justice 2014

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  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.