Criminal justice is a rapidly expanding field of academic study central to the research programme and mission of The Institute for Criminal Law & Criminology at Leiden University. The concept of criminal justice alludes to the system of principles, rules, practices and institutions through which the state administers sanctions against socially undesirable behaviour.
The aim of this one-year full-time master’s programme in Criminal Justice is to equip its graduates with an advanced understanding of criminal justice by providing a multidisciplinary programme addressing key institutions, processes and cross-national issues on crime (prevention), law and policy. A unique feature of the programme is its international comparative perspective, which involves an in-depth analysis of differences in criminal justice systems, legislation, and policies between common law and civil law countries. Moreover, special attention will be paid to the major role The Netherlands have played in the development of national and supra-national crime legislation.
The programme provides students with an unique opportunity to study the field of criminology, criminal law and the reciprocal relationship between them from a cross-national and multidisciplinary perspective. This way, students will be challenged to in-depth theoretical, normative and empirical analyses of differences in criminal justice systems, crime (prevention) law and policymaking.
The highly skilled staff take the students straight to the heart of various pressing cross-national criminal justice issues: not just through lectures, but also through fieldtrips to such institutions as
prisons, the Council of State, Europol and the European Parliament.
The various courses offer both a theoretical and practical insight into criminal justice, and apply empirical research methods to study them. Therefore, during the courses the students will not only have the privilege to learn from academic scholars as well as from professionals working in the criminal justice. The students will also be challenged to intensively work with (inter)national empirical research.
By the end of this Master students will have an advanced notion of the complex field of criminal justice and are able to critically reflect upon and think about how legislation, prevention, detection, maintenance, judgment and sanctions can be kept in congruence with one another. They are also able to take into consideration the findings of criminology and the forensic sciences, the internationalization of law, the demands and ideals of the Rule of Law, social developments, the expectations of the citizen and the requirements of effectiveness.
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