Research & Publications

Research at CICJ focuses on legal, empirical and theoretical aspects of international crimes and international criminal justice. Building on both legal and criminological research tools, CICJ takes an interdisciplinary approach, focusing on the following three areas of research:

  1. How to map and measure the prevalence of international crimes
  2. How to explain the causes of these crimes
  3. How to tailor effective responses to these crimes

Each of the research projects below focuses on one or more of these aspects.

Angola and Transitional Justice

After a war of independence against the Portuguese colonizer, Angola has known a civil war from 1975-2002. What could be characterized as a ‘proxy Cold-War’ in the 1970s and 1980s, in the 1990s turned into a ‘greed’-based war … Read more→

Breaking the Cycle of Violence in Post-Conflict Settings: The Potential of Community-Based Sociotherapy in Rwanda

This NWO WOTRO funded research project, conducted in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) and Community Based Sociotheray Program in Rwanda (CBSP) aims to… Read more→

Breaking the Chain of Command

This PhD research aims at finding out how and why soldiers abstain/refrain from becoming war criminals after they have received orders to commit illegal acts. Read more→

Casuistry in International Criminal Law

This project focuses on judicial decision-making in the international criminal courts and tribunals. The research aims to provide further insights into the (distinguishing) character and scope of legal concepts… Read more →

Citizen Digital Evidence and International Crimes

Civil society and other private actors have been involved in international criminal justice efforts since the founding of ad hoc tribunals to address atrocities in the 1990s… Read more →

Corporations and International Crimes

Corporations often contribute significantly to the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The corporations and international crimes project aims at developing a theoretical framework for… Read more →

The Crime of Aggression: Consequences of Applying International Criminal Law to a Radically Indeterminate Concept

This PhD research, started in February 2010 and completed in December 2015, concerns the reasons for applying international law, and international criminal law in particular, to the notion of aggressive war in interstate relations, and the… Read more →

Criminal Careers of Dutch War Criminals

This PhD project aims at addressing and analyzing the life course of Dutch war criminals who were active in WWII. By means of a file analysis the criminal career before, during and after the Second World War… Read more →

Escaping Justice

War, conflict and authoritarian regimes create refugees. On the basis of Article 1F of the Refugee Convention countries are obliged to exclude persons from refugee protection when there are ‘serious reasons … Read more →

Eyewitness Memory in Cross-Cultural Contexts

Our increasingly international society demands that eyewitnesses of serious crimes regularly provide testimony in cross-cultural settings, such as international criminal tribunals. This poses significant challenges for investigators and legal decision-makers… Read more →

Human Evil

Moral consciousness (knowledge of good and evil) is an important part of the classical conception of human evil. The Human Evil Project tries to determine what the function of moral consciousness is in the… Read more →

In Limbo

Increasingly, governments regard criminal, or allegedly criminal, immigrants to be undesirable elements in their societies. For years, the United States and Canada have been stripping former Nazis of their citizenship… Read more →

Insider Witnesses’ Credibility and Reliability: an Empirical Legal Framework for International Criminal Justice

This NWO funded PhD project analyzes insider witness testimony at international criminal courts and tribunals. Insider witness testimony is both the strongest and the weakest link in international criminal justice… Read more →

Knowing What We Know Now: International Crimes in Historical Perspective

Historians argue that unfaithfulness to the categories used by people in the past or the attribution of a contemporary concept to a historical event are senseless. Considering past deeds like war crimes or crimes against…Read more →

Modes of Liability and the “Fragmentation” of International Criminal Law

This project studies the “fragmentation” of the international criminal law on modes of liability: i.e. the process where notions like co-perpetration, command responsibility, etc. are sometimes subjected to conflicting … Read more →

Sanctions under the ICC’s Principle of Complementarity: Case Study of Colombia

This PhD research, funded by the NWO, aims to determine to what extent sanctioning is part of the ICC’s complementarity assessment, particularly during peace processes. Read more →

Transitional Justice and Counterterrorism in Iraq’s Post-IS Landscape

In December 2017, the Iraqi government announced the defeat of Islamic State (IS) and referred to this ‘post-IS landscape’ as a new page in the history of Iraq. Although the security situation has improved considerably over the past years …Read more→

Universal Jurisdiction Trials of Core International Crimes and the Applicable Legal Standards

Recent empirical data shows that states today are increasingly exercising universal jurisdiction (UJ) to prosecute foreign citizens for atrocity crimes against other non-nationals on the territory of other sovereign states. Read more →

Vertical (In)consistency of International Sentencing

This NWO funded project aims to empirically evaluate to what extent  sentencing of international crimes by international criminal tribunals and domestic courts evolved into consistent practice and how any inconsistencies… Read more →

When Justice is Done: Life After Conviction or Acquittal

Perpetrators of international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are often denoted as “hostis humanis generis” – enemies of all mankind.  In the last decades, the international criminal… Read more →

The Wheel of Restoration

In this project I depart from the assumption that there are three basic ways of dealing with past injustice. First of all, we can try to forget the past; that is, to ignore or to deny what has happened, in a desire to establish… Read more →