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CRIMINAL LAW

(COURSE CONTENTS)

Criminal Law is a compulsory course offered under the LLB Criminology programme. The aim of this subject is to expose the learner to the Nigerian criminal legal system and administration.

 

The following outlines are the topics under this course.

 

1. HISTORY AND SOURCES

Sources of Nigerian Criminal Law

History of Criminal Law in Nigeria

Purpose of Criminal Law

The Nature of Crime

 

2. DEFINITION OF CRIME

Understanding Definitions of Crime

Juristic Approach to the Definition of Crime

Judicial Approach to the Definition of Crime

Statutory Approach to the Definition of Crime

Crime Distinguished from Sin

 

3. ELEMENT OF AN OFFENCE

The Physical Element

The Mental Element

(a) Intention

(b) Recklessness

(c) Negligence

(d) Knowledge

(e) Voluntary Conduct

(f) Strict Liability Offences

The Concurrence of the Physical Element and the Mental Element

 

4. CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCES

The Actual Classification of Offences

The Principle of no Liability without Fault

The Sources of the Principle

(a) English Law

(b) Nigerian Law

 

5. HOMICIDE

Meaning of Homicide

Physical Element of Homicide

The Tissue of Causation

Unlawful Homicide (Murder)

 

6. PARTIES OF AN OFFENCE

Liability Affecting a Principal Offender

Classes of Principal Offenders

Liability as an Accessory after the Fact

Limit of Liability as an Accessory

The Mental Element of Principal Offender

 

7. STEALING

Definition

Taking

Converting

Specific Intents in Stealing

Things Capable of being Stolen

 

8. OBTAINING BY FALSE PRETENSE

Definition

Obtaining

The Pretense

Past and Present Matter

Falsity of the Pretense

Intent to Defraud

Effect of Pretense

 

9. RECEIVING STOLEN GOODS

Elements of the Offence

Receiving Dishonestly

Property Received

Element of Guilty Knowledge

Stolen Property Converted into other Property

Being in Possession of Goods Reasonably Suspected to have been Stolen.

 

10. BURGLARY AND HOUSE BREAKING

Background

Breaking

(a) Actual Breaking

(b) Constructive Breaking

Entering

Intent

Dwelling House

 

11. RAPE

General Principles

Capacity

Carnal Knowledge

Consent

Mental Elements Required for Commission of Rape

Attempted Rape

Evidential Corroboration in Sexual Offences

 

12. TREASON

Criminalization

Levying War

Treasonable Felonies

Limitation of Time

Evidence

 

13. SEDITION

Sedition

Seditious Intention

Proof of Seditious Intention

Defences to Charge of Sedition

Requirements for prosecution

 

14. UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY, RIOT AND AFFRAY

Unlawful assembly

(a) Conduct

(b) Intent

(c) Unlawful assembly under the Public Order Act

(d) Unlawful Procession

Riot

Affray

 

15. CORRUPTION AND ABUSE OF OFFICE BY PUBLIC

Official corruption and abuse of office

Bribery

  1. The Guilty Act

  2. The Manner of the Act

  3. The giving or receiving must relate to public officer’s duty

Extortion by Public Officers

Abuse of Office

 

16. CORRUPTION RELATING TO ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

Perjury

Fabricating Evidence

Corruption of Witnesses

(a) Giving false or withhold true testimony

(b) Deceiving a Witness

(c) Destroying Evidence

Perverting the Course of Justice

Compounding Felonies and Penal Actions

 

17. CORRUPTION RELATED OFFENCES UNDER THE CODE OF CONDUCT

Code of Conduct for Public Officers

(a) No conflict of interest

(b) Prohibition from Operating Foreign Account

(c) Prohibition from Accepting Gift or Benefit

(d) No Abuse of Office

(e) Declaration of Assets

Code of Conduct Bureau

The Code of Conduct Tribunal

 

18. OFENCE OF CORRUPTION UNDER ICPC AND EFCC ACTS, ETC.

Offences of corruption under ICPC Act

(a) Accepting or giving gratification

(b) Guilt of Acceptor or Giver of Gratification

(c) Fraudulent Acquisition or Receipt of Property

(d) Deliberate Frustration of Investigation by the Commission

(e) Scope of Bribery Offence

(f) Forfeiture of Gratification

(g) Bribery in Respect of Auctions or Contracts

(h) Duty to Report Bribe

Offences of corruption under EFCC Act

  1. Giving False information

  2. Concealment of Proceeds of Crime

  3. Forfeiture of Assets

Offences Aimed at Corruption Under Money Laundering Act

  1. Prohibition of Disguising the Illicit Origin of Resources or Property

  2. Limitation to Cash Transaction

  3. Duty to Report Foreign Transfer of Funds

  4. Offences Under the Money Laundering Act

The Public Complaints Commission

 

19. THEORIES AND TYPES OF PUNISHMENT

Retribution (Fair Deserts)

The Idea of Responsibility

Utilitarian Purpose of Punishment

Disablement

Deterrence

Rehabilitation

Educative Principle

 

20. GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF SENTENCING

General Principles

The English Position

The Nigerian Position

 

21. THE POLICE AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Historical Evolution

Establishment

Arrest

(a) With Warrant

(b) Without Warrant

(c) Life Span of Warrant of Arrest

Searches

Prevention of Crimes

Granting Police Bail

Institution and Conduct of Criminal Proceeding

 

22. THE PERSONNEL OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Officials of the Courts

(a) Judicial Officers of the Superior Court

(b) Judicial officials of the Inferior Courts

The Magistrates Courts

(a) Magistrate is ex-Officio a Justice of Peace

(b) Applicable Law

(c) Preventive Role of the Magistrate

(d) Trial in the Magistrate Court

(f) Application of the Criminal Procedure Act or Code

The Role of the Judiciary

(a) Interpretation of Statute

(b) Enforcement of Individual Fundamental Rights

(c) To uphold Fundamental Human Rights

(d) Defence and Maintenance of the Rule of Law

(e) Sustaining Peace and Order

(f) To determine Justice

Immunity from Criticism

Other Considerations

 

 

23. SPECIAL COURTS

Coroners Court and Inquest

  1. Nature

  2. Suspension of Inquest

  3. Venue

  4. Procedure

Rules of Evidence

Court Martial

(a) Composition

(b) Convener

(c) Appeals

(d) Other Matters

 

24. LEGAL OFFICERS OTHER THAN JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES

Attorney – General

Solicitor – General

Director of Public Prosecution

Registrar

Sheriffs

Bailiffs

Legal Practitioners

The Police

(a) Legal Responsibility and Status of Police Officers

(b) Police Liability for Wrongful Act

(c) Complaints against the Police

(d) Violence against the Police

The Prison or Correctional Centre

 

25. ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Commencement of the criminal process

Arrest

Charge Room

Judges Rules

Bail

Criminal Breach

Arraignment and Trial Process

Mode of Trial

Appearance in Court

(a) Plea

(b) Trial

(c) Verdict

(d) Sentence

 

26. JUVENILE JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION

Definition of Terms

Criminal Responsibility

Arrest or Custody of Children and Young Persons

Juvenile Welfare Courts

Juvenile Court Procedure

  1. Parties to Trial

  2. Dispositional Methods

 

 

27. ADMINISTRATION OF JUVENILE JUSTICE AND STANDARDS

Judicial Attitude

Juvenile Offences

(a) Exceptional Cases Where Juvenile May Appear Before Adult Courts

(b) Care Proceeding

(c) Order

Refractory Juvenile

(a) Action by Parent/Guardian

(b) Action by any Person

Standard Minimum Rules

Adjudication and Disposition

(a) Dispositional Methods

(b) Institutional Treatment

 

28. JUVENILE PENAL THEORIES AND DISPOSITIONAL METHODS

Penal Theories and Dispositional Methods

  1. Justice

  2. Protection of the Society

  3. Retribution

  4. Deterrence

  5. Rehabilitation, Reformation and Restoration

Juvenile Welfare Court Orders

Juvenile Delinquents and the Police

Dispositional Method: Adult Offenders and Delinquents

Fundamental Principles in Administration of Justice

(a) Limitation on the Role of the Prosecutor

(b) Holding Charge

 

29. VICTIMS OF CRIME

Crime and Punishment

  1. Development of Crime

Definition of Victims

Crime Victims

  1. Classes of Victims of Crime

  2. Intermixture of Direct and Indirect Victimisation

  3. International Crime Victims

Victims’ Remedy

(a) Victim Remedy Approach

(b) Victim Impart Statement Approach

Milan Plan of Action 1985

 

30. COURTS OF CRIMINAL JURISDICTION

Criminal Courts

Doctrine of Stare Decisis

Ratio Decidendi

Obiter Dictum

Hierarchy of Authority

 

31. WOMEN VICTIMS AND OTHER SPECIAL GROUPS IN CRIME AND JUSTICE

Women Victims

Children and Young Persons

Mental Defectives

Arrest and Investigation Process

The Poor

The Prisons

 

CRIMINAL LITIGATION PROCEDURE

 

CIVIL LITIGATION PROCEDURE