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Course 2016-2017 a.y.


Department of Law

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLMG (8 credits - II sem. - OP  |  16 credits IUS/17)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives
Criminal law, traditionally considered as a pure domestic matter, is becoming more and more open to the influence of international and EU law. And this for at least three 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 courses of conduct, and in general to harmonize their national criminal laws for the sake of a more effective and coordinated fight against particularly serious offenses, is constantly increasing.
Thirdly, the last 25 years have witnessed, after the fall of the Berlin wall and the end of the cold war, a remarkable renaissance of the idea of an international criminal law in a strict sense, which recognizes the existence of international crimes and the jurisdiction of international courts for their prosecution and punishment.
The main aim of this course is to get students acquainted with these supranational dimensions of criminal law, the proper command of which has become essential for every successful legal career in this field.

Course Content Summary
  • 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
  • Some Examples of International Harmonization of Offences and Sanctions: Organized Crime and Terrorism, Corruption, Market Abuse, Liability of Legal Persons
  • The International Criminal Law: Basic Notions, the General Part, International Crimes

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods
The performance of the students who attend the course will be 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 rules that will be explained in detail in the class agreement.
The performance of other students will be exclusively assessed on the basis of the written final exam.
The questions in the written exam will be different for students who have attended the course and those who have not.

Students who attend the course will be provided with all the relevant materials for discussions, group assignments and written exam via the e-learning platform.
Other students shall prepare their written exam on

  • H. SATZGER, International and European Criminal Law, Beck/Hart, Oxford, 2012, §§ 1-7, § 8 IV, §§ 9-14 (available at Egea bookstore)

The course is entirely held in English. Students are expected to have a sufficient command of spoken and written English as to enable them to articulate properly their knowledge and opinions; linguistic perfection, however, is not required – the course is actually thought also as an instrument to improve the student’s linguistic skills in this field.
Students are also expected to have a basic knowledge of Criminal Law, International Law and EU Law.
Last change 20/12/2016 12:25