Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module LAW40815: International Cooperation in Criminal Matters in Europe

Department: Law

LAW40815: International Cooperation in Criminal Matters in Europe

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to M1K116 & M1K616


  • None


  • none

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • This module is directed towards students reading for the LLM degree and will be available to students on the LLM in International Legal Studies and the LLM in Human Rights programmes. It is intended to develop a fundamental understanding of the international system of cooperation in criminal matters within Europe in its geographical sense.
  • It aims to systematically introduce students to the system of fighting transnational crimes by means of public international law and international criminal law, respecting at the same time human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as fair trial and due process. standards and rights of victims, European societies or the EU as such.
  • One goal is to research the hierarchy of applicable law from bilateral treaties, multilateral treaties, conventions related to the Schengen area, to today’s European Union and to the mother conventions of Council of Europe.
  • Primary goal is to evaluate existing tools of cooperation, i.e. primarily extradition, the transfer of sentenced persons, the transfer of proceedings and other forms of mutual legal assistance (MLA) in criminal matters. It is also intended to explore the European organisations in this area like Eurojust, Europol, The European Legal Network and the envisaged European Prosecutor.


  • The module studies the system of international cooperation in criminal law, its development and the legal principles that underpin it. The module commences by considering the nature of MLA in its broader sense and the role of the individual law within this international legal system. It also touches upon the relevant jurisprudence of the European Court in Luxembourg and the ECtHR in Strasbourg.
  • The module also analyses the available mechanisms for the prosecution of transnational and international crimes. It includes both the horizontal cooperation between states and the vertical cooperation between a State and International Criminal Courts This analysis will also highlight the procedures applied by the varying mechanisms, including fair process and fair trial standards, and the principles relating to investigation, surrender, trial, punishment and enforcement of sentences abroad.
  • The course concludes by previewing some of the current issues in international cooperation in criminal matters, in particular the envisaged harmonisation of substantive criminal law, the scope of the principle ne bis in idem and the solution of questions emanating from concurring/conflicting jurisdictions in Europe.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Identify and discuss the theories and concepts underlying the system of international cooperation in criminal matters.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the historical and continued development of the system.
  • Analyse the role of the individual within this international system.
  • Identify, utilize and evaluate the available mechanisms for the prosecution of international/supranational criminal acts.
  • Identify and analyse issues raised by the simplified prosecution of international crimes in particular the European Arrest Warrant.
  • Evaluate the political and practical forces influencing the development of international criminal proceedings.
  • How best to guarantee fair trials abroad.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Relate theoretical knowledge of systems of international cooperation in criminal matters with its practical consequences.
  • Combine principles of public international law with those of criminal law.
  • Demonstrate the ability to undertake advanced and independent legal research using a variety of resources, primarily on-line resources of COE and EU and the national legislation of its member-states implementing individually European standards.
  • Utilize this research material to support and develop their analysis and critique of legal principles and institutions.
Key Skills:
  • ability to describe accurately and comprehensibly the arguments and analysis of other commentators
  • ability to evaluate critically the arguments of others

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The Teaching and Learning will take place by means of seminars only, this reflecting the advanced nature of the module. The use of seminars aims at building upon preliminary reading to cover the theory, development and substance of the international criminal law system in a logical and analytical manner, while encouraging students to participate in group discussion and exercises to develop their problem-solving and verbal communication skills.
  • The summative assessment will be an essay. Formative assessment will utilize the e-learning environment of DUO using moderated discussion groups and online revision. It will provide students with the opportunity to submit a fundamental piece of formative written work.
  • The Teaching, Learning and Assessment methods proposed are in constructive alignment with the Learning Outcomes. The seminar will build upon the background reading to cover the theory required, while providing an opportunity for students to apply the principles to particular problems. The formative assessment will continuously evaluate the knowledge gained and the students' ability to utilize the material to respond to legal problems. The use of diverse summative assessment methods enables students to demonstrate achievement of the Learning

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 8 en bloc 2 16
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 words 100% Y

Formative Assessment:

Optional essay or problem question. E-learning environment in DUO - online revision tests and participation in moderated online discussions.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University