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  • Semester 1Online Scheduled


LCRM101 Introduction to Criminology or LCRM103 - Criminal Justice System and Policy or LCRM106 Introduction to Criminal Justice System and Policy

Unit rationale, description and aim

Green criminology is a broad concept which is concerned with the impact that the interaction between humans and the environment has on both humans and the environment and what to do about these impacts. Such impacts can arise from both legal and illegal activities and can range from human health problems, socially and economically disadvantaged communities living in degraded environments, species extinction, biodiversity loss, and potentially irreversible climate change. Hence, green criminology moves beyond a concern with harm caused by illegal activities (that is, offending) and considers harm more generally, such as coming from legal activities like coal mining and the burning of that coal. This unit will introduce you to these concerns, and help you appreciate some of the shortcomings of traditional criminal justice responses to environmental harm.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome Description
LO1Describe the ways in which the environment can be harmed, considering both legal and illegal activity
LO2Evaluate some of the shortcomings of the traditional criminal justice system responses to environmental harm
LO3Analyse pressing issues arising from human/environment interaction and explore how green criminology helps to understand these issues


Topics will include:

  1. Green criminology and how it differs from other ‘criminology’
  2. Perpetrators of environmental harm
  3. Victims of environmental harm
  4. Recognition of the environment through Constitutions around the world
  5. Giving the environment a voice through legal personhood
  6. Restorative justice conferencing for environmental harm in New Zealand
  7. Restorative justice conferencing for environmental harm in New South Wales, Australia
  8. Special issues in green criminology I: climate change, a ‘wicked problem’
  9. Special issues in green criminology II: waste
  10. Special issues in green criminology III: ecocide

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit comprises 150 hours of study in total. It will be taught over a 12 week semester and includes one 2-hour lecture followed by a 1-hour tutorial each week or ACU Online 10 week asynchronous delivery mode. The balance of the hours committed to this unit comprise private student study and undertaking of assessments.

 The teaching strategy in this elective unit involves student's active participation in analysis and problem-solving in relation to environmental crimes that impact adversely upon the common good of local, national and global communities. Through the study topics and the scaffolded assessment strategy, students will develop their problem-solving, decision-making and investigative skills with regard to issues of green criminology. The unit engages students in active learning through reading, class discussion and problem-solving as a foundation for analysis and synthesis in the final assessment task

ACU Online

This unit uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of knowledge essential to the discipline. Students are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Students are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions. Active learning opportunities provide students with opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage students to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Students receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment is used in this unit as an integral part of the learning process. A scaffold approach is utilised in which the first assessment feeds into the second. Exploration of the literature for the annotated bibliography assessment will help you identify a pressing issue arising from human/environmental interaction which can form the basis of your essay, being the second assessment. Hence, the two assessments will allow you to appreciate an issue of concern to green criminology, who perpetrates that issue and who is victim of that issue, and whether those victims have a voice. You will also gain an appreciation for how green criminology as a discipline and field of study helps you to understand that issue. The pass mark for this unit is 50%.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Annotated bibliography: requires the annotation of 5 sources which give examples of the negative impact of human/environment interaction, and a summary of the research identifying one pressing issue arising from human/environment interaction which will be the subject of the next assessment.


LO1, LO2, LO3

Essay: critically appraise the pressing issue arising from human/environment interaction which was identified in the first assessment task


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

 Rob White and Diane Heckenberg, Green Criminology: An Introduction to the Study of Environmental Harm (2014, Routledge)

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