The Intensive Program in Criminal Law immerses students in the criminal law adjudicatory process. Students are exposed to a wide variety of experiences through lectures delivered by leading experts, visits to correctional facilities, and a 10-week externship placement.
The first two weeks of the semester involves a series of lectures which focus on how substantive, procedural and evidentiary law is actually applied in the day-to-day operation of the criminal courts. Prominent members of the legal and forensic science communities attend to lecture on an array of topics, such as DNA evidence, cross-examining witnesses, drinking and driving, forensic psychiatry, special diversion courts, plea bargaining, and judicial perspectives on advocacy.
Following this, students participate in a 10-week placement with a member of the judiciary, Crown counsel or defence counsel. The goal of the placement is to furnish students with an opportunity to both observe and become involved in the criminal process is action. Each Friday, students return to Osgoode where their classmates present on selected topics in criminal law. Additionally, students are required to keep a reflective journal and conduct a mock trial where they act as either the prosecution or the defence, before judges at the Ontario Court of Justice.
The program concludes with visits to the Forensic Science and Forensic Pathology Laboratories, a provincial correctional centre, a federal penitentiary, a mental health treatment facility, and various specialty courts.
The 15-credit program is open to 20 students per year. The program runs annually in the winter semester. Students are required to complete two major papers. A letter grade is assigned to each of the research papers. The journal, seminar participation, mock trial, and placement is graded on a credit/no credit basis. A detailed personal evaluation, reflecting the student's involvement in all aspects of the program (i.e., class participation, seminar performance, conduct of criminal case, journal insights, quality of written work, etc.) will be attached to the student's transcripts.
The prerequisites for this program are Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence.