The study of international crimes, like war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, deserves to grow into a separate and fully fledged specialization within criminology: supranational criminology. Supranational criminology entails the study of international crimes, behaviour that shows affinity with these crimes, the causes and the situations in which they are committed, as well as interventions and their effectiveness. Interventions comprise penal systems – domestic, internationalised, supranational – in which the crimes are prosecuted and tried, as well as non-penal interventions. International crimes are studied from a criminological perspective, using the theoretical framework and research methodology of regular criminology.
By integrating all research done in other disciplines, like history, political science, sociology and psychology, criminology may contribute to the prevention of these kinds of extreme violence. What exactly entails supranational criminology? What are international crimes? Should other forms of behaviour also be qualified as international crimes? The specific characteristics of international crimes as forms of state sponsored or state facilitated crimes have to be studied. The particular methodological difficulties which arise when studying international crimes form another research topic. Explanatory theories have to be developed which can be translated into testable hypotheses. Which theories from mainstream criminology can provide answers for the prevalence or causes of international crimes? Have the international courts and tribunals succeeded in their aim? The number of topics to be studied is sheer unlimited.
This book aims to repair the fundamental and historical neglect of criminology and to break out of a state of denial by putting international crimes on the criminological agenda.
About this book
‘... a must-read for anyone ... who is concerned with why people commit terrible international crimes. [It] breaks a completely new ground and ... is a major contribution to the literature that deserves serious attention’.
Mark A. Drumbl in New Criminal Law Review 2009 (314).
“A brilliant resource of information that the field was severely lacking until now. Supranational Criminology makes relevant and important links between criminology, international crimes and international justice. Well-written, clearly structured and easily understandable without being overly-simplistic.”
Julia Selman Ayetey, lecturer Anglia Ruskin University,(United Kingdom).
Parts of this book have been made open access. We make chapters open access because they are particularly topical, or provide a useful introduction to the subject. They may be available for a limited time or indefinitely. Some books are entirely and permanently open access.
The time that criminal law was pre-eminently a national matter is gone. Criminal law and criminal procedure is no longer solely a product of decisions made by national legislative bodies, applied by national police, prosecutors and judges. A new criminal law is developing which goes beyond separate nations: supranational criminal law.
One example of this development is the relatively young body of law concerning war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Particularly essential to this development has been the establishment of the ICTY, the ICTR and the ICC, and of many internationalised tribunals all over the world. A second example of the development towards the supranationalisation of criminal law can be seen on a more regional level. In Europe for instance, the area of criminal law has become a prioritised field of co-operation in the third pillar of the European Union. These supranational criminal systems are criminal systems sui generis.
That at least is the presupposition of this series on supranational criminal law. The Supranational Criminal Law: Capita Selecta series contributes to this discussion from a theoretical, dogmatic point of view, working towards new, consistent and fair penal systems, crossing the borders of the old law families and traditions.
The series is edited by Dr. Roelof H. Haveman (editor-in-chief - Rule of Law Advisor, embassy of the Netherlands in Mali), Dr. Paul J.A. De Hert (Free University of Brussels, Belgium and University of Tilburg, the Netherlands) and Dr. Alette Smeulers (University of Groningen, the Netherlands).
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