Transnational Crime


Transnational Crime - Research Guide International Law

The concept of ‘transnational crime’, from a criminological perspective, originates from the mid-1970s when the United Nations used the term in order to identify certain criminal activities which transcend national jurisdictions. In 1995, the United Nations identified eighteen categories of transnational – and mostly organized – criminality. Transnational crime was then defined as ‘offences whose inception, prevention and/or direct or indirect effects involved more than one country.’ (UN Doc. A.CONF. 169/15/Add.1 (1995)). The crimes listed included, among others, money laundering, terrorist activities, theft of art and cultural objects, theft of intellectual property, illicit arms trafficking, aircraft hijacking, sea piracy, insurance fraud, computer crime, environmental crime, trafficking in persons, trade in human body parts, illicit drug trafficking, fraudulent bankruptcy, infiltration of legal business, corruption and bribery of public or party officials. Transnational crime has spread exponentially with the development of globalization and it is only relatively recent that some progress has been made by states and international organizations in developing measures to combat this type of criminality.

This Guide is intended as a starting point for research in the field on Transnational Crime. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code, i.e., 250a and keyword Transnational Crime are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

Online publications released during December/January 2015

Bowling, Ben, and J.W.E. Sheptycki, “Global Policing and Transnational Rule with Law” (February 2015), Transnational Legal Theory, 6 (2015), Forthcoming.
Abstract: This paper explores the connection between transnational law and policing. Following a brief overview of the global policing field and its relationship with law, we use socio-legal theories of policing to examine 4 examples of law in action: (i) the global money system, (ii) transnational mobility, (iii) intellectual …

Ponsford, Matthew, “Financial Misconduct, Penalties and Corporate Accountability: Case of Fraud Under the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act” (January 2015), Working Paper.
Abstract: This project examines recent and ongoing misconduct in the financial sector and implications for corporate governance and accountability. The misconduct ranges from abusive mortgage trades and misreporting on derivatives losses to manipulation of commodity markets. Major corporations, such as …

Paige, Tamsin Phillipa, “Hollow Criminal Law: How the Use of Indirect Legal Measures Conceals the Ineffective Nature of the International Law Criminalising Piracy” (January 2015), Working Paper.
Abstract: The laws that criminalise piracy are well established, however, what is less clear is how these laws are being applied and the impact that they have in the world. This article addresses these questions primarily through a case study on Somali piracy. The waning issue of Somali piracy was the first significant test of …

Gyamfi, Gerald Dapaah, and Joshua Ofori Essiam. “Strategies for Combating Transnational Organized Crime in Africa”, International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, 3 (2015) No. 1.
Abstract: Crime has become a prominent issue in Africa and contributes in diverse ways to the under-development of many countries in Africa. The researchers focused on the descriptions of the usefulness of the strategies used to combat crime in Africa, problems being encountered,and recommendations for …

Voi, Francesco Lo, and Fabio Giuffrida. “The Dual Role of Eurojust in the Fight Against Transnational Crime: An Overview”, European Review of Organised Crime, 1 (2014), No. 2, pp. 129-146.
Abstract: The transnational nature of the most serious forms of modern crimes calls for domestic and police authorities to cooperate more closely, in order to tackle such criminal threats more effectively. For this reason, the European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust) offers an invaluable assistance in the coordination …

Moran, Clare Frances, “Human Trafficking and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”. The Age of Human Rights Journal, 3 (December 2014), pp. 32-45.
Abstract: The case for extending the reach of the Rome Statute to the crime of human trafficking has not yet been made in detail. The brutality which occurs when human beings are trafficked by criminal gangs is of an equally egregious nature as the other crimes covered by the Rome Statute and yet it does …

Driscoll, John, “Improving US Strategy on Transnational Organized Crime”. International Affairs Review, 23 (December 2014), No. 1, pp. 84-103.
Abstract: In recent decades transnational organized crime (TOC) has risen swiftly up the U.S. security agenda, and the scale and scope of potential profits for criminal groups has expanded as a result of improved information and transportation technologies. Domestically, no organized crime threat poses as great a risk …

Grabosky, Peter, “The Evolution of Cybercrime, 2004-2014″ (December 2014). RegNet Research Paper No. 2014/58.
Abstract: This article reviews developments in cybercrime in the ten years to 2014. It observes that in the basic substance of cybercrime offences is essentially the same as in the past. However, cybercrimes are now executed with greater sophistication, increasingly for purposes of financial gain, and by an increased …


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Periodicals, serial publications


New titles

Updated every Friday morning.

The Peace Palace Library has a collection of over a million publications. Each week, about six hundred new titles are added to our collection: books, articles, documents, online publications, etc. On this page, access is provided to this week’s new titles on Transnational crime.

1. Guo ji xing shi tiao yue zai Zhongguo de shi yong
Guo ji xing shi tiao yue zai Zhongguo de shi yong / Xiudong Gao = 国际刑事条约在中国的适用 / 高秀东著. - Di 1 ban (=第1版). - Beijing Shi : Zhongguo ren min gong an da xue chu ban she ; 北京市 : 中国人民公安大学出版社, 2012. - 4, 5, 4, 6, 8, 294 pages. ; 21 cm. - (Jing shi xing shi fa xue bo shi wen ku ; 18) (京师刑事法学博士文库 ; 18) Preface and table of contents also in English. - Includes bibliographical references: page 249-265. - 2012
Keywords: China, Transnational crime, Treaties, International law and domestic law, Criminal jurisdiction,

2. Géopolitique de la criminalité transfrontalière organisée et de l'insécurité maritime, enjeux pour l'Afrique de l'ouest
Géopolitique de la criminalité transfrontalière organisée et de l'insécurité maritime, enjeux pour l'Afrique de l'ouest / par le Professeur Joseph Vincent Ntuda Ebode. - Yaoundé : Université de Yaoundé II, Faculté des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques, Centre de Recherche d'Etudes Politiques et Stratégiques (CREPS), 2014. - 33 unnumbered pages. : illustrations Thème présenté à Abidjan le 3 juin 2014 à l’occasion du séminaire de formation et de la conférence sur les enjeux géopolitiques et stratégiques en Afrique de l’ouest. - Includes bibliographical references. - 2014
Keywords: West Africa, Transnational crime, Organized crime, Drugs, Illegal immigrants, Arms, Piracy, Islam, Fundamentalism, E-docs,

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  • Borg Jansson, D., Modern Slavery : A Comparative Study of the Definition of Trafficking in Persons, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2015.

    Jansson, Modern slavery : a comparative study of the definition of trafficking in persons

    In this book the author discusses why, despite international anti-trafficking efforts, there are so few trafficking convictions worldwide. In an easily accessible language, the author explains why international legal harmonization in this area has been difficult. Making use of the concept of legal transplants, Dominika Borg Jansson compares experiences from Sweden, Poland and Russia offering insights into especially Russian legislation that are not widely available. The problems concerning the implementation of the international definition of trafficking are here divided into country-specific challenges and obstacles attributable to the original source. Jansson also addresses the effectiveness of criminalization of trafficking and offers suggestions on how future trafficking legislation might be framed.

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  • Chappell, D., and S. Hufnagel (eds.), Contemporary Perspectives on the Detection, Investigation and Prosecution of Art Crime : Australasian, European and North American Perspectives, Farnham, Surrey, Ashgate, 2014.

    Chappell, D., and S. Hufnagel (eds.), Contemporary Perspectives on the Detection, Investigation and Prosecution of Art Crime : Australasian, European and North American Perspectives, Farnham, Surrey, Ashgate, 2014.

    In the world of law enforcement art and antiquity crime has in the past usually assumed a place of low interest and priority. That situation has now slowly begun to change on both the local and international level as criminals, encouraged in part by the record sums now being paid for art treasures, are now seeking to exploit the art market more systematically by means of theft, fraud and looting. In this collection academics and practitioners from Australasia, Europe and North America combine to examine the challenges presented to the criminal justice system by these developments. Best practice methods of detecting, investigating, prosecuting and preventing such crimes are explored. This book will be of interest and use to academics and practitioners alike in the areas of law, crime and justice.

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  • Boister, N., and R.J. Currie (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Transnational Criminal Law, London, Routledge, 2014.

    Boister, N., and R.J. Currie (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Transnational Criminal Law, London, Routledge, 2014.

    Certain types of crime are increasingly being perpetrated across national borders and require a unified regional or global response to combat them. Transnational criminal law covers both the international treaty obligations which require States to introduce specific substantive measures into their domestic criminal law schemes, and an allied procedural dimension concerned with the articulation of inter-state cooperation in pursuit of the alleged transnational criminal. The Routledge Handbook of Transnational Criminal Law provides a comprehensive overview of the system which is designed to regulate cross border crime. The book looks at the history and development of the system, asking questions as to the principal purpose and effectiveness of transnational criminal law as it currently stands. The book brings together experts in the field, both scholars and practitioners, in order to offer original and forward-looking analyses of the key elements of the transnational criminal law. The book is split into several parts for ease of reference: Fundamental concepts surrounding the international regulation of transnational crime; Procedures for international cooperation against alleged transnational criminals including jurisdiction, police cooperation, asset recovery and extradition; Substantive crimes covered by transnational criminal law analysing the current legal provisions for each crime; The implementation of transnational criminal law and the effectiveness of the system of transnational criminal law.

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  • Paoli, L., The Oxford Handbook of Organized Crime, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    Paoli, L., The Oxford Handbook of Organized Crime, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

    The Oxford Handbook of Organized Crime provides an informed, authoritative, and comprehensive overview of current knowledge about the nature and effects of the principal forms of organized crime, as well as the type and effectiveness of efforts to prevent and control them. Reflecting the transnational dimensions of criminal organizations and their activities, and the growing role of international organizations reacting to organized crime, The Handbook takes a global perspective with first-rate contributions from around the world covering the main regions and countries in which organized crime activity is at its greatest. It is divided into four sections: concepts and research methods, actors and interactions, markets and activities, and, finally, national and international policies to fight criminal organizations. While there are a number of organized crime texts available, none delivers a systematic, high-quality and truly global approach to the topic as is available in The Oxford Handbook of Organized Crime. Its insights illuminate both traditional areas of study in the field and pathways for developing cutting-edge research questions.

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  • Cornell, S., and M. Jonsson (eds.), Conflict, Crime, and the State in Postcommunist Eurasia, Philadelphia, PA, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.

    Cornell, S., and M. Jonsson (eds.), Conflict, Crime, and the State in Postcommunist Eurasia, Philadelphia, PA, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014

    In the years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and its zone of influence, few insurgent groups had the resources necessary to confront regular armies. At the same time, state-sponsored financial support for insurgencies dramatically decreased. The pressing need to raise funds for war and the weakness of law enforcement in conflict zones create fertile conditions for organized crime; indeed, there is a mounting body of evidence correlating armed conflict and illicit economy, though the nature of this link and its impact on regional politics has not been well understood. Conflict, Crime, and the State in Postcommunist Eurasia explores the relationship between ideologically motivated insurgents, profit-motivated crime, and state institutions in eight conflict zones. Through detailed case studies, the contributors demonstrate how the operations and incentives of insurgents may emerge and shift over time: for some armed groups, crime can become an end in itself beyond a financial means, but not all armed groups equally adapt to illicit commerce. They also show how the criminalization of state institutions is a lingering concerns even after armed conflicts end. Conflict, Crime, and the State in Postcommunist Eurasia places the case studies along a continuum of political and criminal behavior, examining the factors that motivate insurgents to seek out criminal alliance, how this connection affects the dynamics of conflict, and what risks remain during postconflict transition.

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  • Battersby, P., The Unlawful Society: Global Crime and Security in a Complex World, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

    Battersby, P., The Unlawful Society: Global Crime and Security in a Complex World, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

    Crime today is synonymous with security but our preoccupation with exposing the hidden mechanisms of the global underworld engenders an incomplete understanding of a vexed and complex field of inquiry, policy and practice. International and global relations are being refashioned and re-coded in ways that demand a fresh and expansive interpretation that acknowledges the scope and complexity of networked human interactions. Using the innovative concept of unlawfulness, this book examines the crimes and misdemeanours of the global overworld to form a unique analysis of global order in the twenty-first century. Battersby argues that unlawfulness – the intentional transgression of criminal law – is an active but under-researched principle in international affairs, and maps out the scope of tolerated unlawfulness among and within states and non-state actors including private companies and not-for-profit ‘civil society’ organizations. Exploring the dynamics of law-making in a world where the pace of technological change is outstripping our capacity to capture new forms of international and transnational crime, this book will be a valuable resource to scholars of International Politics, Global Governance, International Law, Security, Criminal Justice and Policing.

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  • Reichel, P., and J.S. Albanese (eds.), Handbook of Transnational Crime and Justice (2nd ed.), Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications, 2014.

    Reichel, P., and J.S. Albanese (eds.), Handbook of Transnational Crime and Justice, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications, 2014.

    Transnational crime and justice will characterize the 21st century in same way that traditional street crimes dominated the 20th century. In the Handbook of Transnational Crime and Justice, Philip Reichel and Jay Albanese bring together top scholars from around the world to offer perspectives on the laws, crimes, and criminal justice responses to transnational crime. This concise, reader-friendly Handbook is organized logically around four major themes: the problem of transnational crime; analysis of specific transnational crimes; approaches to its control; and regional geographical analyses. Each comprehensive chapter is designed to be explored as a stand-alone topic, making this Handbook an important textbook and reference tool for readers and practitioners alike.

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  • Honduras: A New Cocaine Trafficking Hub

    Last week Honduras adopted a law allowing the government to shoot down planes suspected of trafficking illegal drugs through the country. International drug trafficking is probably the most well known transnational organized crime. How bad is the current situation in Honduras; is it a new cocaine trafficking hub?

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  • Protecting Children from Cybercrime: Online Child Grooming

    In the Netherlands a massive case of internet child abuse has been reveiled this week. A 48 year old man has been arrested and is suspected of online child grooming and sexually abusing hundreds of girls. At least 11 girls stated they have had a meeting with the man and were sexually abused by him. The Dutch police has found 26.000 videos and 144.000 photographs during a raid on his house. The man has been active for eight years. What is online child grooming and what is the International and European policy on combating this form of cyber crime and internet abuse?

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  • Pirates, Buccaneers and Privateers : Concepts of International Law

    Establishing an authoritative definition of “piracy” in international law has always been rather problematic. The definition is relevant, because any confusion in terminology invariably leads to debates between State sovereignty and universal jurisdiction over crimes at sea. The various international law meanings of piracy are derived from, among others, international treaties, and various municipal law meanings are defined by statutes and State practice.

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  • Victor Bout, arms dealer, extradited to USA

    Victor Bout, an interpreter and a former Russian military airforce officer suspected of arms trafficking, has been extradited to the United States of America by Thailand. Bout, also called the ‘merchant of death’, is alleged of supplying illegal weapons to various groups and regimes, such as the Taliban, the Sierra leonean Revolutionary United Front, Charles Taylor and al-Qaida.

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  • Call for an UN Piracy Tribunal

    Five Somalis are currently on trial in the Netherlands after they failed to hijack a freighter sailing under the Dutch Antilles flag in January. The pirates have expressed their satisfaction with their prison cells, and at least one of them has said he wants to stay in the Netherlands after he is [...]

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  • Remembrance Slave Trade and its Abolition

    Saturday 23 August marks the UN nineth annual International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.

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  • Piracy

    The history of piracy goes back in the library collection till 1816. Still the oceans are unsafe, especially the Somali coast is crowded with modern pirates with guns and grenades. As in the old days kidnapping and piracy are lucrative businesses, if a ransom is paid.

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