International Criminal Justice

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    International Criminal Justice

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Criminal Justice, Legal Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

    3
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    OVERVIEW
    War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide harm people, disrupt societies and endanger global peace and security. In recent decades the international community has expressed its clear desire to end such atrocities and to prosecute those responsible. But designing effective “real-world” response strategies and understanding the underlying human behaviour remain extremely challenging. Only a multidisciplinary approach has any hope of success.

    COURSE CONTENT
    This course is the first of its kind to take multidisciplinary approach to the challenges that emerge in the field of international criminal justice. It introduces you to the basics of international criminal law, critically assesses modes of investigation, reflects on why perpetrators commit atrocities and discusses the value of alternative responses like truth commissions and amnesties. Together with a group of expert lawyers and criminologists, you explore what “doing justice” means in practice and identify and discuss the most pressing challenges. Naturally, in so doing you make the most of our location just 30 minutes away from the legal capital of the world, The Hague. The course includes advocacy training by international legal counsel and a guest lecture by Judge Howard Morrison of the International Criminal Court.

    As host of the Centre for International Criminal Justice (CICJ), VU University Amsterdam is a leading player in research on international criminal law and the criminology of international crimes. The CICJ is an independent institute dedicated to interdisciplinary academic research and education, policy analysis and debate on international crimes and international and transitional justice, as well as conceptual and institutional responses to mass atrocities. Its staff specialize in a broad spectrum of relevant fields, including international law, criminal law, criminology, social psychology and methods of social sciences research, and it has an extensive network of associated practitioners at the institutions in The Hague.

    LEVEL
    Advanced Bachelor

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES

    • You can analyse and critically assess the nature and origins of international criminal justice.
    • You understand and can distinguish between the most important legal concepts.
    • You recognize and comprehend the most relevant criminological theories to explain the occurrence of mass atrocities.
    • You are able to compare the advantages and drawbacks of the various modes of transitional justice.

    FIELD VISITS
    Visits to the International Criminal Court, the Peace Palace, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague.

    TEACHING METHODS
    Interactive seminars and field trips

    FORM OF ASSESSMENT
    Presentation and short paper

    TARGET AUDIENCE
    Students of Law, Criminology, Criminal Justice, Sociology, History, Journalism, Anthropology, Political Science and Psychology.