Smeulers, A. (2012). In opdracht van de staat – gezagsgetrouwe criminelen en internationale misdrijven, Tilburg: prismaprint (inaugural speech)

International crimes are by definition forms and manifestations of collective violence. Four different forms and manifestations of international crimes can be distinguished: (1) international crimes which are committed by state authorities on orders or with the approval of the state; (2) international crimes committed by state authorities without the approval of the state; (3) international crimes committed by non-state actors on orders or with the approval of the state and (4) international crimes committed by non-state actors without approval of the state. If the state itself is involved in the crimes a political, ideological, institutional and social context is created in which the crimes are legitimized and justified. The perpetrators involved in such crimes commit their crimes out of obedience, conformism and loyalty. These perpetrators can be qualified as law-abiding citizens and seem to have little in common with ordinary and common criminals. From a criminological perspective these perpetrators can be seen as a new type of criminal. Mainstream criminological theories seem to equate criminal behaviour with deviant behaviour while in these cases the perpetrators are obedient followers rather than deviant individuals. Criminological theories are however still able to help understand the origins and causes of international crimes although in a rather limited way. Especially the strain theory and theories on social learning can be helpful in explaining international crimes. This however does not change the fact that law abiding citizens who commit international crimes on orders of the state are a different kind of perpetrators than the ordinary and common criminal. (read more)

120144 oratie A Smeulers omslag

Smeulers, A. & F. Grünfeld (2011). International crimes and other gross human rights violations – a multi- and interdisciplinary textbook, Leiden: Brill/Martinus Nijhoff.
International crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as other gross human rights violations are manifestations of collective violence which endanger international peace and security and warrant our full attention. It however takes a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to understand the true nature and causes of this type of criminality. The aim of this book is to take such an approach and to provide university students, scholars, professionals and practitioners within the field with the knowledge they need. The legal background and particularities of international crimes; the social context in which these crimes are committed as well as the perpetrators and bystanders thereof are studied. Within the book many case studies are presented as illustrations. (read more)

book cover 1


Smeulers, A. (Ed.) (2010). Collective violence and international criminal justice: an interdisciplinary approach, Antwerp: Intersentia.
Extreme forms of collective violence such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes can endanger international peace and security. The international criminal justice system has been set up in order to prosecute these crimes and to thus restore international peace and security. These crimes are however extremely complex social phenomena and it takes an inter- and multidisciplinary approach to understand the true nature of this type of criminality and to effectively prosecute the perpetrators thereof. This book enhances our knowledge of these complex phenomena and thus contributes to a better and more effective system of international criminal justice. Scholars from many different scientific disciplines such as law, criminology, political science, psychology, research methodology and information technology as well as practitioners from within the field have contributed to this book.

General themes in the book are: What kind of people are perpetrators of collective violence? How can we attribute criminal responsibility to individuals for crimes which are collective in nature? How can we study these crimes and how can we discover patterns of violence? What role can statistics play when holding individuals accountable? How to develop strategies of prosecution? What difficulties do prosecutors and judges face and how important and useful is the ICC Case Matrix? These are just a few of the many questions addressed in this book.

Contributors to the book are: Xabier Agirre, Kai Ambos, Olympia Bekou, Morten Bergsmo, Catrien Bijleveld, Athanasios Chouliaras, Mark Drumbl, Don Foster, Barbora Holá, Amelia Hoover Green, Annika Jones, Salim Nakhjavani, Sarah Nouwen, Mark Osiel, Stephan Parmentier, Michael Scharf, Alette Smeulers, James Waller, Wouter Werner, Martin Witteveen, Elisabeth Wood and Estelle Zinsstag. (read more)


Smeulers, A. & R. Haveman (Eds.) (2008). Supranational Criminology: towards a criminology of international crimes, Antwerpen: Intersentia.
The study of international crimes, like war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, deserves to grow into a separate and fully fledged specialization within criminology: supranational criminology. Supranational criminology entails the study of international crimes, behaviour that shows affinity with these crimes, the causes and the situations in which they are committed, as well as interventions and their effectiveness. Interventions comprise penal systems – domestic, internationalised, supranational – in which the crimes are prosecuted and tried, as well as non-penal interventions. International crimes are studied from a criminological perspective, using the theoretical framework and research methodology of regular criminology.

By integrating all research done in other disciplines, like history, political science, sociology and psychology, criminology may contribute to the prevention of these kinds of extreme violence. What exactly entails supranational criminology? What are international crimes? Should other forms of behaviour also be qualified as international crimes? The specific characteristics of international crimes as forms of state sponsored or state facilitated crimes have to be studied. The particular methodological difficulties which arise when studying international crimes form another research topic. Explanatory theories have to be developed which can be translated into testable hypotheses. Which theories from mainstream criminology can provide answers for the prevalence or causes of international crimes? Have the international courts and tribunals succeeded in their aim? The number of topics to be studied is sheer unlimited.

This book aims to repair the fundamental and historical neglect of criminology and to break out of a state of denial by putting international crimes on the criminological agenda.

About this book ‘... a must-read for anyone ... who is concerned with why people commit terrible international crimes. [It] breaks a completely new ground and ... is a major contribution to the literature that deserves serious attention’. Mark A. Drumbl in New Criminal Law Review 2009 (314).

“A brilliant resource of information that the field was severely lacking until now. Supranational Criminology makes relevant and important links between criminology, international crimes and international justice. Well-written, clearly structured and easily understandable without being overly-simplistic.” Julia Selman Ayetey, lecturer Anglia Ruskin University,(United Kingdom).  (read more)


Klip, A.H., A. Smeulers & R. Wolleswinkel (Red.) (2004). KriTies – Liber amicorum et amicarum voor prof. mr. E. Prakken, Deventer: Kluwer. 
This is a liber amicorum et amicarem for Ties Prakken, professor in criminal law at Maastricht University. There are numerous chapters in the book by people who knew her well or worked with her during her log career. The chapters have been written by a large number of people. The chapters reflect the work and interest of Ties Prakken who was besides being a professor in criminal law a defence attorney. They reflect the vision of Ties who always stated that criminal law is not the goal in itself but is there to serve people. Ties was a critical thinker who was very all-round and creative. This is reflected in the chapters written by her friends, co-workers and colleagues. (read more)

Smeulers, A. (2002). In staat van uitlevering - houden uitleveringsrechters in Nederland, Duitsland en de Verenigde Staten voldoende rekening met het proces en de behandeling die de opgeëiste persoon in de verzoekende staat na uitlevering te wachten staan?, Antwerpen: Intersentia. (diss Maastricht) 

Extradition law is about to change dramatically. The terrorist attacks on the US on 9/11 have made states much more willing to intensively cooperate in criminal matters. The European Arrest Warrant is one of the results of this new situation. The aim of the European Arrest Warrant is to make extradition procedures faster and smoother. Little attention is given to guaranteeing human rights. The main research question underlying this PhD research project is: To what extent does the requested state within am extradition procedure need to take the human rights situation in the requesting country into account? What factors need to be taken into account – what criteria should be used? To what extent can requested states be held responsible for human rights violations in the requesting state after extradition? How sure should a state be that the extradite will be treated well and will get a fair trial in the requesting state? Should the judge of the secretary of state decide in these matters? To what extent may policy considerations be taken into account? In the research project a comparison between the extradition procedures in the Netherlands, Germany and the United States has been undertaken. (read more)