Alette Smeulers (1967, Luxemburg) is professor of criminal law and criminology of international crimes at the law faculty of the University of Groningen and at the University College Groningen where she is Head of Department.
She studied political science (international relations and international human rights law) at the Free University in Brussels (VUB) and the Lancashire Polytechnic in Preston (United Kingdom). In 2003 she received her PhD in international criminal law after successfully defending her PhD-thesis on extradition and human rights at Maastricht University. She worked at Maastricht University for 11 years first as a PhD candidate, then as a lecturer in criminal law and as off 2001 as assistant professor in international criminal law.
From 2006-2011 she worked at VU University Amsterdam where she initiated and set up the master in International Crimes and Criminology now renamed international crimes, conflict and criminology and the Amsterdam Centre of Interdisciplinary Research on International Crimes and Security (ACIC) in 2012 renamed the Centre of International Criminal Justice. In 2019 I gave the keynote at the 10-year anniversary of this master to the students who graduated in this program.
She can be considered one of the founders of Supranational Criminology, the criminology of international crimes and gave the semi-plenary keynote at the Dutch Society of Criminology in 2008 and the European Society of Criminology in 2016. She is one of the co-chairs of the European Criminology Group on Atrocity Crimes and Transitional Justice.
In 2011 she was appointed full professor in international criminology at Tilburg University and from 2012 to 2016 she has been a research fellow at Intervict. In this period (2015-2018) she also worked as a freelance researcher and teacher and taught at a.o. University College Tilburg and the Amsterdam University College. In 2014 she moved to Groningen and as off 2018 she works full time at the University of Groningen.
Alette has succesfully supervised a number of PhD students: Barbora Hola, Maartje Weerdesteijn, Guangxing Zhu and Tadesse Metekia. She is currently heading a research team together with prof. dr. Caroline Fournet and supervises a number of PhD students, including: Suzanne Schot, Yves Sezirahiga, Adina Nistor, Min Seah, Benjamin Gaches and Sanda van Dam. In 2015 she was the proud recipient of the Tilburg Law School Supervisor Award.
Alette teaches introductory courses in criminal law and criminology as well as specialized courses focusing on specific forms and periods of violence such as terrorism, international crimes and war.
She regularly publishes in national and international peer-reviewed journals and has published a number of books. She gave many presentations and guest lectures in the Netherlands and abroad and has presented at numerous conferences worldwide. She is an internationally recognized expert on international crimes and especially the perpetrators of these crimes and one of the founders of the field now known as supranational criminology which entails the criminology of international crimes.
See for a short documentary on her research: