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 involve 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 in 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 to 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.