JST337 Crimes of the Powerful (8)

Taking a national and international approach, this subject introduces students to criminological debate and theory on crimes of the powerful through an examination of the role of power in the criminal justice system and wider society. It questions definitions of crime and harm, using case studies to illustrate these debates. This subject reviews issues of white collar and corporate crime, industrial and environmental harms, state crime, genocide, war and war crimes, modern slavery and labour exploitation. In this subject, students will critically analyse the relationship between power and crime on a local and global level.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Bathurst Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: JST337. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Law and Justice

Assumed Knowledge

Any Level 2 JST Subject.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to critically analyse the relationship between power, crime, and the criminal justice system;
  • be able to apply key theories of power, control and harm to the criminal justice system;
  • be able to evaluate key debates in criminology regarding power and the criminal justice system;
  • be able to critically analyse the definitions of crime and harm, with case studies as illustrations;
  • be able to demonstrate an interdisciplinary approach to understanding power and crimes of the powerful; and
  • be able to critically analyse relevant contemporary issues in the context of crime, harm and power.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Power and Official Discourse: Government and Police Misconduct
  • Institutional Abuse
  • State Violence and State Crime
  • War and War Crimes
  • Labour Exploitation and Modern Slavery
  • White Collar and Corporate Crime
  • Environmental Crime and Harm
  • Preventive Detention/Punishment and Pre-Crime
  • Current Issues in Crimes of the Powerful

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of JST337 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Online quiz a
Case study
Online quiz b
Research essay

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.