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International Crimes and Criminology (MSc)

Gain a true understanding of international crimes

Why did 21 year old US army reservist Lynndie England torture Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib?  Daughter of a rail worker, Lynndie was raised in a small town in West Virginia. Prior to being sent to Iraq, she worked as a supermarket cashier and in a chicken processing factory. Her reason for going to Iraq: earn money to go to college. What transformed this shy young woman into a cold blooded perpetrator of crimes against humanity inflicting psychological, sexual and physical abuse? How can we prevent such practices to happen in the future?

Is justice done if the International Criminal Court prosecutes LRA-rebel Dominic Ongwen?
Kidnapped at the age of nine by Joseph Kony’s rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army, Ugandan Dominic Ongwen can by all means be considered a victim. However, years later he himself is suspected of abducting children, pillaging villages and killing and maiming its residents. That is the very reason he is currently prosecuted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Would criminal prosecution in The Hague mean that justice is done? Or are traditional and local modes of dealing with his actions more suitable?

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Criminology of International Crimes

Answering the above questions is far from easy, yet extremely important. War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide harm individuals, disrupt societies and pose a threat to international peace and security. The international community has over the past decades clearly expressed the need to prevent and stop these international crimes from taking place and to prosecute the world’s most responsible perpetrators. Yet, effective action is often hampered by a lack of will or knowledge. Preventive strategies cannot be effectively set up without a thorough understanding of the root causes of these crimes. A call for action to stop crimes from taking place can only take place if effective monitoring systems are in place, while successful prosecution of orchestrators or organizers of these crimes can only take place if they can be clearly linked to atrocities that have taken place on the ground. Designing these strategies and executing these tasks can only be done by means of taking a multi- and interdisciplinary approach.

The unique Master’s programme in International Crimes and Criminology teaches a small group of approximately 25 students the necessary intellectual skills to take this approach and trains them how to apply the knowledge and expertise to real-world situations.

  • Taal:Engels
  • Duur:1 year (full-time)
  • Collegegeld:Concerning tuition fees
  • Aanmelden voor:1 April for international students and Dutch students with an international degree. 1 June for Dutch students with a Dutch degree and students from VU University Amsterdam.
  • Startdatum:1 September
  • Vorm:Voltijd
  • Interessegebied:Economie, Recht en Bestuur, Gedrag en Maatschappij
  • Specialisaties:


  • Toelatingseisen:


Isabella Regan MSc ICC

'ICC is about addressing atrocities in its political, historical and international context"

Isabella Regan, International Crimes and Criminology student

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