International Criminal Justice

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Doing Justice
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 levelAdvanced Bachelor
Session 1
30 June to 14 July 2018
Recommended course
combination
Session 2: Laws in Antiquity: Crime and Punishment in the Ancient World, Criminal Organization: An Economic Perspective
Session 3: Crime in Numbers: From Correlation to Causation, Cybercrime: The Human Factor
Co-ordinating lecturersDr Joris van Wijk, Maarten Bolhuis, Msc.
Other lecturersProf. Elies van Sliedregt, Prof. Catrien Bijleveld, Dr Barbora Hola, guest lecturers
Form(s) of tuitionInteractive seminars and field trips
Form(s) of assessmentPresentation and short paper
ECTS    3 credits
Contact hours45
Tuition fee€1150
Students and professionals in the field of Law, Criminology, Criminal Justice, Sociology, History, Journalism, Anthropology, Political Science and Psychology. If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please let us know. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore are open to students and professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds.
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.

At the end of this course, you:

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

prof pic

Joris van Wijk is associate professor in criminology and directs the master International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology. His research interests lie at the intersection of international criminal justice, criminology and migration. He has been a visiting professional at the International Criminal Court and has published on a variety of topics which include: rehabilitation of war criminals, the asylum-terror nexus and victims of international crimes.

“Teaching this Summerschool programme is the best start of summer! With a dedicated team of professors and the invited practitioners, we try to teach students as much as we can about recent developments in international criminal justice. Given the topic and the diverse group of students classes can be demanding and may even lead to serious and heated discussions. At the same time we don't forget that students also come to enjoy all the good things Amsterdam has to offer. A nice illustration how we try to combine the best of both worlds is one of our highlights in the second week: paintball according to the Geneva Conventions...”

- 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.

Course reader. An advance reading list will also be provided.
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