European Criminal Policy


This course aims at enabling the students to gain an insight into the various European co-operation levels and their relationships as well as into the criminal policy on the different co-operation levels. This insight will be acquired on the basis of knowledge of the legal instruments issued on the different co-operation levels with regard to (substantive and formal) criminal law and other related topics. The objective of the course is also for students to gain an insight into and to apply the mechanisms of European (police, customs and judicial) co-operation in criminal matters. Finally, students will be stimulated to form a personal opinion on the criminal policy which is being or has been developed and/or implemented on the different European co-operation levels and write a substantial course paper on it.



  • description of the various European co-operation levels or levels having relevance for criminal policy making in the European context (Council of Europe, European Union, Schengen, Benelux, etc.);
  • the history and future of the European integration in the area of JHA, in view of the establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice and a genuine European legal area;

Core elements:

  • (substantive and formal) criminal law: protection of the financial interests of the EC/EU, corruption, trafficking in human beings, sexual abuse of children, racism and xenophobia, human rights, data protection, road traffic offences, combating organised crime, euro fraud, high-tech crime, terrorism, drug trafficking, etc.;
  • judicial co-operation: European judicial network, Eurojust, various instruments regulating either mutual legal assistance or mutual recognition of judicial decisions in criminal matters, the setting up of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office;
  • customs co-operation: EC/EU co-operation agreements;
  • police co-operation: Schengen Implementing Convention, Prüm instruments, availability principle, Europol (European Union) and its relationship with Cepol, Interpol, OLAF and Eurojust;
  • criminal policy: in numerous fields, on the basis of an analysis of relevant policy documents and legal instruments issued on the different co-operation levels.
Key words: 
EU, European Union, European integration, Schengen, Council of Europe, criminal law, criminal policy, institutions, police, justice, home affairs, freedom, cooperation, terrorism, organised crime, mutual recognition, approximation
Faculty members: