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Course module: 670091-M-6
Victims in National and International Criminal Justice
Course info
Course module670091-M-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg Law School; TLS: INTERVICT; International Victimology Institute Tilburg;
Is part of
M Victimology and Criminal Justice
Contact personA.D. Balta
Coordinator course
A.D. Balta
Other course modules lecturer
A.D. Balta
Other course modules lecturer
dr. K. Banteka
Other course modules lecturer
prof. C.R.J.J. Rijken
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2018
Starting block
SM 1
Course mode
RemarksThis information is not up to date. Check the Course Catalog 2019 or select the course via “Register”.
Registration openfrom 13/08/2018 09:00 up to and including 31/07/2019
After completion of this course the students should be able to:
  • Distinguish the content of six victims' rights (respect, information, support, participation, compensation, protection) and of the various international, European, and national legal instruments containing these rights
  • Appraise the extent to which these victims' rights have been implemented in practice (of countries and/or courts) and explain the impact that the difference between 'the law in books' and 'the law in practice' may have on the actual position of victims in criminal proceedings
  • Explain the differences in legal status of the various international victims' rights instruments ('soft' versus 'hard' law) and the consequences for obligations of states
  • Compare the different international crimes; understand the different positions victims hold in international procedures; assess the difficulties with regard to the implementation of victims' rights before international institutions
  • Explain the different concepts relating to reparations (compensation, restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction, and guarantees of non-repetition) and appraise the role that the law, NGOs, governments (national and local) and other institutions could play in the case of reparations in the aftermath of mass victimization; apply and evaluate the acquired knowledge relating to victims' rights, including the right to reparation, to specific cases of mass victimation adjudicated before (international) justice institutions
  • Distinguish and assess the victims' experience with (international) justice institutions, NGOs, and victims' rights organisations 
The course consists of 13 lectures, broadly divided into five parts:

1) During the first part (lectures 1 and 2) the students will be introduced to the development of victims’ rights in a national and international context. Topics include the emancipation of victims during the past few decades, the main international and European developments in this context, and the relative importance (in terms of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ law) of these developments.
2) The second part (lectures 3 to 5) focuses on specific victims’ rights, such as the victim impact statement, auxiliary and private prosecution, the right to protection, etcetera. With the recent EU Directive as a guideline, the various victims’ rights are discussed. What do these rights entail? What is their relationship to national and international obligations? What differences can be discerned between national legal systems and how do these differences influence the position of the victim in practice?
3) The third part (lectures 6 to 8 and 10 to 11) will concentrate on victims of international crimes. An overview will be given of the most important developments in international human rights law, humanitarian law, and international criminal law. The students will also gain an understanding of the problems encountered in the implementation of the specific victims' rights in an international context, such as participation, reparation and protection. 
4) The fourth part (lectures 9 and 12) will be presented by guest lecturers who will talk about their experiences with victims’ rights. The support to victims of national and international crimes will be discussed from a practitioners’ point of view.
5) The fifth part (lecture 13) is dedicated to the preparation of the written exam and Q&A.

Compulsory Reading
  1. M. Groenhuijsen & R. Letschert, Compilation of International Victims' Rights Instruments (3rd edition), Wolf, 2012, ISBN 9789058508232.
  2. All academic articles which constitute compulsory reading will be included in the Reader.
Examination method
The final grade (100%) is made up of the following components:

- The grade for the written exam (70%)
- Active participation during lectures (10%). The students will either be awarded the full 10% for active participation or 0%.
- Handing in 2 questions ( based on prescribed literature) before each of the lectures (20%). For 20%, questions need to be sent for 7 of the 13 lectures, need to be coherent, and clearly articulated (by the end of the course, the students will have sent 14 questions). The students will either be awarded the full 20% if they respect the aforementioned criteria or 0%.
Timetable information
670091-M-6|Victims in National & Int. Crim. Justice
Written test opportunities
Written test opportunities (HIST)
Schriftelijk 70% / Written 70%EXAM_01SM 1114-12-2018
Schriftelijk 70% / Written 70%EXAM_01SM 1210-01-2019
Required materials
Title:Compilation of International Victims' Rights Instruments (3rd edition)
Author:M. Groenhuijsen & R. Letschert
Recommended materials
Written 70%

Participation10%, Questions 20%

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