Ethical Issues in Criminology

lcrim2304  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Ethical Issues in Criminology
Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
6 credits
30.0 h

  This learning unit is not being organized during year 2019-2020.


The prerequisite(s) for this Teaching Unit (Unité d’enseignement – UE) for the programmes/courses that offer this Teaching Unit are specified at the end of this sheet.
Main themes
The course includes two parts, one of which focuses on deontology in criminology, the second of the ethical issues of the criminological practices.
The aim of the first part of the course is to consider the connections between law, deontology and ethics. What norms relate to the criminologist's actions? What is their field of application? What is their compulsory power? To what extent does their application require an ethical decision to be made by the criminologist?
The second part relates more particularly to the ethical questions that may present themselves to criminologists in their work.
From a general point of view, in terms of what conception(s) of mankind is criminological knowledge organised? In relation to which of society's projects do criminological knowledge and practice find their ethical and social justification?
More specifically, criminological practice is often confronted with difficult choices: many dilemmas and paradoxes touch on it (among which, for example, is the duality of functions of aid in the broad sense, and of functions of control). Divese criminological professions and problematics are studied by the way of collective discussions on texts and with experts and fieldworkers.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


The purpose of the course is to introduce the student to the main ethical questions which arise in contemporary philosophy, to demonstrate the meaning and the importance of these issues and to construct an deontological and ethical framework for action in the field of criminology.


The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
The aim of this seminar is to provide a forum for reflection and discussion on the nature and the statues of the knowledge created in the field of criminology, as they have veen taught during the second year of the course. Summary : contents and methods Contents : Is there a process which is specific to criminology ? As far as criminology can be considered as an activity constituting a university subject, how can it be developed and how can it bring together the knowledge emanating from subjects such as penal law, sociology, psychology and biomedical sciences ? Moreover, how to take into account the fact that criminology is at the same time a project of knowledge and activity permanently questioned by practice and by the socio-political field ? It is hoped that the analysis of the texts given to the participants will lead to uncover and dismantle the contradictions that underlie the very construction of knowledge in criminology. These texts come from the different subject areas which make up criminology. Methods : The active participation of the students will be required throughout the seminar on three levels : discussions after lectures, commentaries on written material provided and a personnal written project. The seminar will also be a place for debating the epistemological questions linked to the students' research work.
Evaluation methods
Written exam.
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Certificat universitaire en éthique économique et sociale

Master [120] in Criminology