Criminal Law

Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode RGPSR50110
Vaknaam Criminal Law
Niveau(s) propedeuse
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I b (block 2)
ECTS 10
Rooster rooster.rug.nl

Uitgebreide vaknaam Criminal Law
Leerdoelen Students of this course are expected to achieve three main goals, which will be tested on the exam. The first goal is to gain knowledge about the core concepts of substantive and procedural criminal law, and to gain knowledge about important ECHR cases regarding the right to a fair trial, the right to liberty and security and the right to privacy. After this course, students should be able to answer questions about important concepts and case law (e.g. define two kinds of omission offences; why was Art. 6 ECHR violated in Pélissier and Sassi vs. France?). Students should also become aware of the fact that there are major differences between criminal law systems and they should be able to answer questions about those differences (e.g. describe the difference between the adversarial and the inquisitorial approach). The second goal is to gain insight into the rationales of important doctrines of substantive and procedural criminal law. After this course, students should be able to answer questions related to the underlying reasons of certain legal doctrines (e.g. discuss airbags in automobiles from the perspective of the harm principle). The third and most important goal is to acquire the ability to apply knowledge about legal doctrines and case law to legal problems. After this course, students should be able to answer legal questions about certain hypothetical cases and relate national proceedings to the standards developed by the ECtHR (e.g. did the defendant act recklessly with regard to B’s death according to the Model Penal Code?; is this a violation of the defendant’s right to be present at the hearing as mentioned in Art. 6 ECHR?).

The most important aim of the lectures is to explain difficult aspects of the legal doctrines and case law that are to be studied. The most important aim of the working groups is to teach students how to apply legal doctrines and case law to legal problems. In the working groups, students are also challenged to discuss important doctrines of substantive and procedural criminal law. In part A (substantive criminal law), students are invited to discuss controversial issues in criminal law (e.g. the pros and cons of criminalization of drugs). In part B (procedural criminal law), students are invited to give short presentations about certain procedural doctrines from their own country of origin. Students can acquire a bonus point by actively participating in the working groups of both part A and B (2 extra points are added to the 0 to 40 points that can be obtained on the exam).
Omschrijving The course Criminal law is divided into two separate parts. Part A is dedicated to substantive criminal law, whereas part B is dedicated to procedural criminal law. There will be one single exam. Half of the grade is based on questions about part A and the other half of the grade is based on questions about part B.

Part A: substantive criminal law

Comparative law research shows that criminal law systems around the world deal with similar subjects and thus more or less with the same issues. Although, at first sight, every country seems to follow a path of its own, to a great extent criminal law systems have the same foundations. The objective of this part of the course is to study these fundamental and universal principles and concepts. Hypothetical cases will be used to explain legal doctrines and to explore the moral foundations of legal rules. The following topics will be discussed: the legality principle, actus reus (commission versus omission, causation), mens rea (intent versus negligence), the classification of offences, defences (justifications and excuses), inchoate offences (attempt and preparation)and European criminal law.

Part B: procedural criminal law

National criminal justice systems differ substantially. The adversarial or common law approach has other roots than the inquisitorial or civil law approach. Nevertheless, all criminal law systems have to deal with similar subjects and/or legal questions, and thus more or less the same issues. In Europe, the case law of the European Court of Human Rights contains a standard that every Member State has to respect. In this course, the focus is on ECHR case law and the influence of this case law on national systems of criminal procedure. The following elements of criminal procedure will be discussed: preliminary investigations, preparation and representation at the trial, evidence, sentencing and appeal. The position and competences or rights of the different actors in criminal procedures will also be discussed.
Uren per week 8
Onderwijsvorm hoorcollege, werkgroep
(7 4-hour lectures and 7 4-hour tutorials.)
Toetsvorm opdracht(en), schriftelijk (essayvragen) (digitaal)
(Bonus point in the form of homework assignments.)
Vaksoort p-niveau, juridisch
Coördinator dr. mr. A.A. van Dijk
Docent(en) mr. dr. W. Geelhoed ,mr. dr. L.J.J. Peters ,mr. A.E. Schipaanboord ,dr. mr. A.A. van Dijk ,mr. J.E. Versluis ,mr. M.K. Westra
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Basic Concepts of Criminal Law, Oxford University Press 1998 (digitally available via Worldcat) George P. Fletcher
Comparative Concepts of Criminal Law (3rd edition), Intersentia 2019 Johannes Keiler and David Roef (eds.) 9781780686851 €  39,00
Comparative Criminal Procedure: History, Processes and Case Studies (2nd edition), W.S. Hein 2017 Raneta Lawson Mack 9780837740966 €  70,74
Online reader for part B on Studentportal (Nestor)
Literature for Part B will be announced on Studentportal
Entreevoorwaarden
  • This course is only accessible for students who are registered for the Bachelor's degree 'International and European Law' or pre-master programme students provided that the course is part of the pre-master programme.
  • This course is not open to non-law exchange students.
Opmerkingen
  • During the first year of registration, regular first year students will have the opportunity, under certain conditions, to sit an additional prolonged oral resit exam in the same examination period as in which the (written)resit of that course takes place. For conditions and procedure, please check the Study and Information Guide for international students.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Exchange programme Law 1 semester I b optional
LLB International and European Law 1 semester I b verplicht
LLB International and European Law, track Technology Law 1 semester I b verplicht
Pre-LLM International and European Law: track Global Criminal Law 1 semester I b compulsory
Pre-LLM International and European Law: track International Human Rights Law  (Variant 2: for International Relations and/or Political Science students) 1 semester I b compulsory
Pre-LLM International and European Law: track International Human Rights Law  (Pre-LLM International Human Rights Law) 1 semester I b compulsory
Pre-LLM International and European Law: track Public International Law  (Pre-LLM Public International Law) 1 semester I b compulsory
Pre-LLM International and European Law: track Public International Law  (Variant 2: for International Relations and/or Political Science students) 1 semester I b compulsory