Conflict and Crimes


Course Objective

Upon completion of the course the student:
- understands the characteristics and definitions of different types of
conflict related crimes;
- is aware of definitional debates around conflict related crimes;
- is aware of and has knowledge about responses to conflict related
crimes and the relevant legal actors in that context;
- can apply theoretical concepts to understand the causes of conflict
related crimes;
- has a basic understanding of international criminal law
- can think critically about policy responses to conflict related
- knows how to interview respondents for the purpose of academic
- can provide a logically structured and well substantiated oral
presentation about conflict related crimes
- can write a logically structured and well substantiated academic
research paper about conflict related crimes

Course Content

This introductory course familiarizes students of the master programme
International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology with each other and with
the main (legal) concepts, (criminological) theories and judicial and
non-judicial responses in relation to conflict-related crimes. The core
concepts and definitions of international crimes (war crimes, crimes
against humanity and genocide) and modes of liability will be discussed
and illustrated. Similarly, attention will be given to conflict-related
transnational crimes such as human smuggling, human trafficking, weapons
smuggling and terrorism. In this course you will discuss the workings of
transnational modes of cooperation such as Interpol and transitional
justice responses such as truth commissions. During the ‘practical week’
students will visit relevant institutions such as the International
Criminal Court. Apart from focusing on the content, this intensive
course also trains students on their practical skills, in particular how
to write an academic research paper, how to interview respondents.

Teaching Methods

The course will consist of a combination of lectures, interactive
workshops, documentary screenings and visits to relevant institutions.

Method of Assessment

The course is evaluated with an oral presentation, a legal assignment
and two research papers.


- Smeulers, A.L. & F. Grunfeld (2011). International crimes, Brill,
- A selection of articles and texts that are available online (links
provided in coursebook)

Target Audience

This course is in principle only open to students of the Master
International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology. All other interested
students should well in advance direct an email with motivation and CV
to Joris van Wijk ( ) to request if participation is
possible. They will at the latest on 1 September be informed whether
participation is possible.

General Information

Course Code R_ConCr
Credits 12 EC
Period P1
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator dr. J. van Wijk
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Study Group, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: