3 ECTS credits
90 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 6002086FNR for all students in the 2nd semester at a (F) Master - specialised level.

2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Taught in
Faculty of Law and Criminology
International and European Law
Educational team
Paul DE HERT (course titular)
Activities and contact hours
26 contact hours Lecture
Course Content

International criminal law and European Criminal law are two relatively young fields, which are nonetheless, progressively acquiring more and more importance in the present context. As a matter of fact, if globalization has had a revolutionary and positive impact in almost all fields of man activities, such an evolution has also had important consequences in a specific area which has historically been locally rooted: crime. States have thus started to develop different forms of judicial cooperation in criminal matters to counteract this phenomenon both at a global and at a regional level.  

The course aims at providing students with an overview of the sources and the developments of this new branch of law, of the obstacles overcome, and the challenges it will face in the future. In particular the subjects covered will include:


  • the development of international and European criminal law (regulating the criminal conduct of the individual);
  • the content of general principles of international criminal law (individual criminal responsibility, principle of legality, ne bis in idem, etc.)
  • the definition and problems associated with description of international crimes (war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, terrorism, etc.);
  • the study of the institutional techniques designed to administer these rules (international criminal tribunals, the international criminal court, , etc.).
  • the growing trend towards European criminal law (Schengen, Europol, etc.)
  • techniques used by states to combat criminality such as assistance in the administration of criminal justice (extraterritorial competence of criminal courts, extradition, execution of foreign judgments, transmission of prosecutors, minor international legal assistance); 

Each course will be opened with an interactive discussion of the news items (new judgements, news in the press that can be related to the Course). During the course students will be challegend with questions and asked systematically to give their view on developments and identified problems.


Course material
Practical course material (Required) : Handouts, Paul de Hert, will be printed by the IES secretary
Practical course material (Required) : Mandatory literature, Articles by academics relevant to the different courses, will be printed by the IES secretary
Handbook (Required) : European and International Criminal Code (Larcier Thematic Code), Paul de Hert & Irene Wieczorek, Brussels, Larcier, 2013, 598p. ISBN : 978-2-8044-6272-7 will be given to students by IES secretary, 9782804462727, 2013
Additional info

Every course lesson can be followed on a “handout” distributed to students, which states the purpose of the course, its structure and gives a short summary of the topics touched upon in class. It also indicates the reading materials, it proposes some questions to the course and the materials, and it ends with a short list of optional reading materials (These are ‘optional’ and do not have to be studied). Students are expected to take notes during the course, as the course handouts are not sufficient. Moreover, they are requested to study also directly relying on legal materials such as the Treaties, Court’s judgments and legal instruments contained in the European and International Criminal Code. There is also mandatory literature to every course relevant to the subject of the course. The lecturer will briefly discusses these articles and contributions that have to be studied by students at home.

Learning Outcomes

Algemene competenties

After the course, students should have thorough knowledge of the most important features of international and European criminal law (objectives, principles, institutional frameworks and decision-making mechanisms, with particular focus on the important innovations brought by the Treaty of Lisbon, and most pertinent challenges) and should be familiar with core substantive areas of international and European criminal law (extradition and mutual recognition, judicial and police cooperation in criminal matters, development of substantive European and International Criminal law, both on areas of crimes and on procedural matters, and the problems related to harmonized European criminal law, and universal criminal law) and eventually also with the functioning of bodies and mechanism entrusted with task of ensuring the enforcement of European and International criminal law.

Students can independently understand and analyse judgements regarding criminal law by European and international tribunals and courts.

Students can independently understand treaty developments at the international level and legal developments at the EU level. Thety can link these developments with domestic law and are able in their professional life to recognize international and European law dimensions 'behind' domestic arrangements.

Students have an attitude that could be labelled as 'transnational' and understand that sovereignty is shared in the global world and purely national solutions will no longer be succesful under all circumstances



The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Oral Exam determines 100% of the final mark.

Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Examen Mondeling with a relative weight of 1 which comprises 100% of the final mark.

    Note: Oral exam.

    Examples of questions:

    1. What do we need to check when receiving an extradition request?
    2. Is there sufficient penal law to back-up the former Youguslavia tribunal?
    3. What is the base structure for a penal law treaty?

Additional info regarding evaluation

The students will be evaluated on the basis of an oral exam. They will be asked questions (3 to 5) about the course notes taken in class and the reading materials.  The exam can be prepared using the model questions to every course contained in the Handouts. The first question will be taken out of this list and serve as a point of departure

The reading materials have to be understood, even when not touched upon wholly in class. Questions could be asked about the vision of author, the main message, and the arguments used in the article, while not going into details as far as the specific content of each article is concerned. A minimal requirement is that students recognize the name of the author.

The exam will test

-the ability of the student to use the terminology 

-insight and understanding of the course materials 

-the ability of the student to reflect critically about the course materials based on the discussions in class

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of International and European Law: Standaard traject