Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Law

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - II sem. - OBS  |  IUS/17)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

Although it is not mandatory to have previously attended classes of Criminal Law - Module 1 (General Part) , students should have a basic knowledge of the general part of criminal law, as well as EU Law and International Law.

Mission & Content Summary


Criminal law, traditionally intended and construed as a pure domestic matter, is becoming more and more open to the influence of international and EU law. And this for at least two reasons. Firstly, the current state of the international human rights law as interpreted by some key actors, such as the European Court of Human Rights, limits the States' punitive powers in the criminalization choices as well as in their actual enforcement by police, prosecutors and courts, to an extent that would have been hardly imaginable only a couple of decades ago. Secondly, the number of international covenants and EU instruments that impose on States obligations to criminalize certain misconduct, and in general to harmonize their national criminal provisions for the sake of a more effective and coordinated fight against particularly serious offenses, is constantly increasing. The main aim of this course is to get students acquainted with the said supranational dimensions of criminal law, the proper command of which has become essential for every successful legal career.


  • International Human Rights Law and National Criminal Law: Patterns of Interaction.
  • The Role of Some Key Human Rights in the Criminal Law: Right to Life, Prohibition of Torture and Degrading/Inhuman Treatments, Nullum crimen, Right to Privacy, Freedom of Expression, Ne bis in idem.
  • The Harmonization of National Criminal Laws through International Conventions and EU Instruments: Patterns of Interaction.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand the fundamental patterns of the influence of international and EU law on domestic criminal law.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Analyze cases and legal questions that arise from the interaction between international/EU law and domestic criminal law.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments


As to case studies, students are invited to read some materials uploaded each week in the Bboard platform and think about a number of legal questions before the lesson. During classes, each topic is introduced by the teacher and then discussed with students in class, on the basis of materials uploaded in the previous week. With respect to group assignments, each student who attend the lessons is expected to join a group of 4-5 people and work on an assigned topic, which shall be the object of: a) an oral presentation of 15-20 min. and b) a written essay (5.000-10.000 words): the oral presentation of each group is discussed with the whole class, while the written essay is due 7 days after each oral presentation.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


The performance of students who attend the course is assessed on a three-step basis, taking into account the evaluation of the group assignments, the individual class participation and the results of the written exam, according to the following rules:

  • Individual participation in discussions in class: up to 3 (‘bonus’) points to round up the final grade (half a point is awarded to students each time they make good oral contributions during lessons, up to the maximum of 3 points).
  • Group performance in the assignment, on the basis of both the oral presentation, the following discussion and the written essay (same grade for all members of the group): up to 12 points.
  • Individual performance in a written exam, with open questions on legal matters and cases (3 hours time, no space limits): up to 18 points.

The final grade results from the sum of these three partial marks. Decimals are rounded up to the higher whole number.


Written individual general exam only: open questions on the topics analyzed and discussed in class during the whole course, including those presented by the groups of students. Individual preparation should focus on the textbook.

Teaching materials


Students who attend the course are provided with all the relevant materials (including slides used during classes) for discussions, group assignments and written exam via the Bboard platform. For further reading (non-mandatory):

  • H. SATZGER, International and European Criminal Law, Oxford, Beck/Hart, 2nd ed. 2018, §§ 1, 5-7, 8 IV, 9.


H. SATZGER, International and European Criminal Law, Oxford, Beck/Hart, 2nd ed. 2018, §§ 1-7, § 8 IV, §§ 9-14.

Last change 13/06/2019 08:40