The course will be conducted entirely in English. It is divided in two main parts, which reflect the particular importance of criminal law in its present supranational dimension.
1). The first and more extended part will focus on the subjects of international criminal law stricto sensu, relating to criminal liability for the so called “international crimes”, their origins and the analysis of the different categories (war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, crime of aggression), with particular attention to the crimes within the jurisdiction of the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC - established by the Rome Statute of 1998), but also with reference to the case-law of the ad hoc Tribunals, in particular Nuremberg, Tokyo, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia - ICTY and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda - ICTR, besides the ICC.
2). The second part will focus on the subjects of “European criminal law”, this being understood as both the areas of criminal jurisdiction explicitly attributed to the European Union (arts. 83, 86 and 325 TFEU), of which some harmonization instruments will be considered (in the field of cybercrime and copyright, trafficking in human beings and illegal immigration, child pornography); and the system of the protection of fundamental rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, especially with regard to the obligations of penal protection bearing on the national judicial systems (e.g. the prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment).
The course is divided in the following didactic units:
1). The origin and evolution of international criminal law from the International Criminal Tribunals of Nuremberg and Tokyo to the creation, with the Rome Statute, of the permanent International Criminal Court (ICC); the analysis, through the constitutive acts, the Statutes and the jurisprudence of the ad hoc Tribunals (ICTY, ICTR), of specific international crimes, with a special regard to the crimes within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC: war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, crime of aggression); the special forms of criminal responsibility for the crimes committed in particular by military and political leaders (such as the responsibility of commanders and other superiors ex art. 28 ICC, the joint criminal enterprise, etc.)
2). National criminal law and European criminal law: the evolution and the process of “Europeanisation“ of criminal law; the role of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice; the Lisbon Treaty and the new explicit penal competences of the European Union in the fight against the transnational crimes (child pornography, trafficking of human beings, illegal immigration, cybercrime, terrorism, etc.); the penal protection of the European financial interests; the establishment of an European Public Prosecutor.
3). Protection of the fundamental rights; the role of the Council of Europe and the function of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR); the relations between the case law of the ECHR and the national penal jurisdictions; the obligations of penal protection bearing on the national judicial systems (e.g. the prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment).
For the students who have attended the course (at least 80% of the classes, demonstrated by the register of presences), it is sufficient the collection of materials (International Criminal Law Course material), made available by the professors, which contains a collection of sources of law, legal tools and case law analyzed during the lessons and the essential references to further in-depth analysis reading on the subjects examined.
As an alternative, for non – attending students, the recommended book is:
H. SATZGER, International and European Criminal Law, München, 2011 (pages to be arranged with the professors)
Or, on the first part:
G.WERLE, Principles of International Criminal Law, 3 ed., Asser T.M.C., 2014
A.CASSESE, International Criminal Law, 3 ed., Oxford 2013.
The regular consultation of the legal tools is recommended. In particular, please consult the texts of the Rome Statute, the ad hoc Tribunal statutes, the European treaties and the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, as well as the jurisprudential materials which will be gradually provided in class, available on the websites specifically indicated.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam will be conducted in English, with the discussion of a written essay on a specific topic developed in class and agreed with the professors, or, as a choice of the student, a written test based on the answer to three questions on the subjects analyzed during the course; the written test will be followed by a brief oral interview.
Variations of the program can also be arranged with the professors for the study of specific topics of interest of the candidate.