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The CICJ is a successor of the Amsterdam Centre of Interdisciplinary Research on International Crimes and Security (ACIC), established in 2007 by Professor Alette Smeulers.

Based at the Law Faculty of the VU University in Amsterdam, we strive to bring together researchers and students with (international) criminal law and criminology backgrounds. The Center offers a MSc. in International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology, professional (post-graduate) trainings and organizes research seminars and guest lectures on a regular basis. On occasion, the Center also provides research internships for students and creates opportunities for visiting scholars and researchers to conduct research at the Center and participate in its activities.

Mission and objectives

The CICJ carries out interdisciplinary research and promotes transparent debate on international crimes and international criminal law and justice. The Center seeks to contribute to the improvement of the current approaches and processes of dealing with international crimes both at the international and domestic level, with an eye to the legal and policy dynamics between the two. This translates to a focus on:

(i) developing tailored and practice-oriented solutions to the problems of achieving accountability at all levels of enforcement;

(ii) providing coherent (both empirical and normative) answers to foundational queries and meta-questions raised by international criminality, prevention, and accountability; and;

(iii) formulating and testing fundamental critique of international crimes and international criminal justice, including the various aspects of its legitimacy, coherence, and effectiveness.

Profile and niche

The CICJ is an independent non-partisan university center dedicated to interdisciplinary academic research and education, policy analysis and debate on international crimes, international and transitional justice, as well as conceptual and institutional responses to mass atrocity. The Center’s staff is specialized in different fields of study, including international law, criminal law, criminology, (legal) psychology and anthropology, and in methods of social sciences research. The Center has a wide network of individuals and partner institutions based in and outside the Netherlands.

Due to its unique combination of expertise, the CICJ serves as a forum for an open and inclusive exchange of ideas and perspectives on international crimes and justice across disciplinary and professional boundaries. In pursuing its mission, the Center seeks to upgrade the current discourse on international crimes and international criminal justice from a multidisciplinary conversation to a fully integrated interdisciplinary research on respective subjects.