Checking date: 25/04/2024

Course: 2024/2025

Advanced studies in penology and prison law
Master in Criminal and Criminal Procedural Law (Plan: 450 - Estudio: 275)


Department assigned to the subject: Criminal Law, Procedural Law and History Law Department

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 3.0 ECTS


Requirements (Subjects that are assumed to be known)
Degree in Law. Criminal Law. General Part.
With regard to the learning outcomes, at the end of the course, students should: - Master the different theories on the purposes of punishment. - Have acquired a solid knowledge of the most complicated issues in the system of punishment determination. - Master the most challenging theoretical-practical problems of prison and the other penalties of deprivation of liberty provided for in the Spanish Criminal Code. - To have gained an understanding of rights deprivation penalties and the fine penalty. - To have acquired a solid training in the regulation of security measures of a criminal nature. - To have an in-depth knowledge of the problems inherent to long-term penalties and post-penitentiary security measures. - Understand and master the fundamentals of the penitentiary system. - Understand and master complicated issues relating to the legal-penitentiary relationship and the rights of prisoners. - Be familiar with the most current debates in the field of penitentiary policy and penology.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
Block I. Advanced studies in penology. § 1. Introduction: the system of legal consequences of crime. § 2. Theory of punishment. § 3. The system of punishment. - Punishments involving deprivation of liberty. - Penalties involving deprivation of rights. - Fine penalty. - Determination of the penalty. In particular, apparent concurrence of laws and concurrence of crimes. - The quantification of the calculation of the sentence to be executed. The Parot doctrine or the new recasting of sentences. - Substitute forms of execution of penalties involving deprivation of liberty. - Accessory consequences: confiscation. § 4. The system of security measures. - Basis and purpose of security measures. - Custodial and non-custodial security measures. - Execution of security measures. § 5. Post-penitentiary security measures. - Introduction: the return of inocuisation. - Predictions of criminal dangerousness. - In particular, libertad vigilada as a post-penitentiary security measure. Block II. Advanced studies in penitentiary law. § 6. International standards, sources and fundamental principles of Penitentiary Law. § 7. The special penitentiary relationship, rights and duties of the inmates and systems of protection. § 8. The place of execution and the penitentiary regime. § 9. Penitentiary classification and penitentiary treatment. § 10. The actors of the penitentiary system and the penitentiary jurisdiction. This subject is fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, mainly related to Goal 4 on gender equality, Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
Learning activities and methodology
The teaching and study activities will be structured as follows: Firstly, theoretical contents will be explained and discussed in face-to-face lecture sessions. Secondly, seminars will be organised with invited speakers/experts. Active student participation will be encouraged in the discussion and analysis of each of the points on the syllabus. Support material will be used in the sessions and will be made available to the students, who will have to complement it with the manuals and doctrinal articles recommended by the teaching team. Tutorials will, as a general rule, be individual, on the day and at the time set by the teaching team. They will be focused on resolving doubts about the contents of the subject and on deepening in those aspects that the students require and request.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 100
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 0

Basic Bibliography
  • Cormac Behan & Abigail Stark. Prisons and Imprisonment: An Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan. Latest edition
  • Dirk van Zyl Smit & Sonja Snacken . Principles of European Prison Law and Policy: Penology and Human Rights. Oxford University Press. Latest edition
  • Gaëtan Cliquennois (ed.). The Evolving Protection of Prisoners¿ Rights in Europe. Routledge. Latest edition
  • H.L.A. Hart . Punishment and Responsibility: Essays in the Philosophy of Law. Oxford University Press. Latest edition
  • Joshua Dressler. Understanding Criminal Law. Carolina Academic Press. Latest edition
  • Steven I. Friedland, Catherine Carpenter, Kami N. Chavis & Catherine Arcabascio. Criminal Law: A Context and Practice Casebook. Carolina Academic Press. Latest edition

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.