The European Criminology Group on Atrocity Crimes and Transitional Justice



Research focus

  • purposes of international criminal law and its symbolic importance;
  • criminology of mass atrocities;
  • 'internationalization' of the crime of terrorism;
  • transitional justice.

Marina Aksenova is PhD in law at the European University Institute. Her thesis focused on modes of participation in international criminal law and, in particular, on the concept of complicity.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Oxford, an LL.M. in Public International Law from Amsterdam University, and a BA (hons) in law from the International University in Moscow. In the past, she has worked as a legal assistant for the defence at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, legal intern at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and as arbitration associate in the Moscow office of an international law firm (White & Case LLC).

Her research interests lie in the sphere of international criminal law, public international law, comparative criminal law, human rights law and criminology. As Postdoc at iCourts, she will examine the role of international criminal courts located in the European space in shaping and promoting universal values. In doing so, she will critically assess the objectives of international criminal justice and its limitations.

Andy Aitchison

Andy Aydın-Aitchison

University of Edinburgh School of Law


Research focus

  • genocide,
  • war crimes,
  • Bosnia,
  • Yugoslavia,
  • state-building,
  • democratisation,
  • police


I joined the School of Law in 2012 and I lecture in criminology and direct the MSc in Global Crime, Justice and Security. My teaching and research interests are in the field of global problems of crime and responses to these. Previously, I lectured in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh and worked as a researcher for the Home Office and Cardiff University.

I divide my research into two main areas. The first focuses on reform in post-socialist, post-authoritarian and post-conflict states with a holistic perspective on the criminal justice sector. This includes conceptual and empirical work on democratisation. I have a particular interest in international aspects of governance. A series of publications explore these matters in the context of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the book, Making the Transition (2011).

A second strand of my work focuses on international crimes, including genocide. I am presently working on empirical analysis of police participation in war crimes and ethnic cleansing in one region of Bosnia in relation to legacies of the Yugoslav state and the initial democratisation processes in the early 1990s.


Research focus

At present:

  • Policing and European criminal law
  • transitional justice


Chrisje Brants (1948) is professor of criminal law at Northumbria University and professor emeritus (criminal law and procedure) of Utrecht University. She is a law scholar and a criminologist and has a law degree and a doctorate in social sciences from the University of Amsterdam. For many years she was professor of criminal law and procedure at the University of Utrecht, and director of the Willem Pompe Institute for criminal law and criminology there. Since 2013, she has been professor of criminal law at Northumbria University in Newcastle upopn Tyne (UK). She has lectured and published widely on a range of subjects from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective, including miscarriages of justice, the principles of prosecution and criminal procedure, human rights, freedom of expression, European criminal law, transitional and international justice, and crime, criminal law and the media.


Kirstin Drenkhahn

FUB Department of Law


Research focus

  • Prisons
  • State Crime
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Sanctions and Sentencing
  • Restorative Justice


Kirstin Drenkhahn studied law at the University of Greifswald/Germany  and the Université catholique de Louvain/Belgium. She passed the first state exam in 1999 and the second in 2005 after completion of the practical training at Lübeck District Court. From 2000 to 2011, she worked as a researcher at the Chairs of Criminology and of Criminal Law and Procedure at the University of Greifswald. She finished her PhD thesis on social-therapeutic prisons in Germany in 2006 and started a project on long-term imprisonment and human rights in 2007. In 2011, she left Greifswald for the Freie Universitaet Berlin where she started as an assistant professor of criminal law and criminology and has been promoted to professor of criminal law and criminology in 2017. Her interest in state crime sparked when she met Dawn Rothe and Victoria Collins at the Victimology Course in Dubrovnik a few years ago.


Caroline Fournet

University of Groningen Criminal Law and Criminology


Research focus

  • International Criminal Law and Justice,
  • Law of Genocide,
  • International and European Human Rights Law,
  • Comparative Criminal Law


Prof. Dr. Caroline Fournet is Professor of Comparative Criminal Law and International Justice at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Groningen where she previously was Associate Professor and Rosalind Franklin Fellow. Before working in the Netherlands, she was Senior Lecturer at Exeter University's School of Law. After Master degrees in Sweden (LLM, RWI, Lund) and France (DEA, IHEE, Strasbourg), she read for a PhD in Leicester (UK) researching on the normative evolution of international crimes. Her current research focuses on the legal status of mass graves, the fate of victims of international crimes after their death and the use of forensic evidence in international criminal justice. She was a co-investigator on the ERC- funded Research Programme Corpses of Mass Violence and Genocide. She is Editor-in-Chief of the International Criminal Law Review (Brill), Editor for Law of Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal (MUP) and member of the Editorial Board of Science and Justice (Elsevier).


Barbora Hola

Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement & Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Criminal Law and Criminology


Research focus

  • International sentencing
  • Transitional justice
  • Empirical legal studies


Barbora Hola works as Senior Researcher at the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) and as Associate Professor at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at  VU University of Amsterdam. She has an interdisciplinary focus and studies transitional justice after atrocities, in particular (international) criminal trials, sentencing of international crimes, enforcement of international sentences, rehabilitation of war criminals and life after trial at international criminal tribunals. Barbora has published extensively on these subjects and presented at international conferences and universities in Europe, Africa and the America’s. In 2013, the Netherlands Organization for   Scientific Research (NWO)  awarded Barbora the prestigious VENI grant for a research on sentencing of international crimes by national courts in Bosnia and Rwanda. In 2015 Barbora, together with Lily Rueda, received a Research Talent Grant for a project focusing on the role of sanctions in the ICC complementarity assessment. In 2016, the NWO WOTRO  funded a project on cycle of violence in post-conflict settings, in which she cooperates with  colleagues from the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement and the Prison Fellowship Rwanda. In 2017, Barbora was one of the four candidates who received the highly competitive ‘WISE’ (Women in Science Excel) fellowship from the NWO to develop her research line on empirical studies of international criminal and transitional justice after atrocities. Besides her research and teaching in the Master’s programme International Crimes and Criminology, Barbora is a co-director of the Center for International Criminal Justice, a knowledge centre dedicated to interdisciplinary studies of mass atrocity crimes and international criminal justice (  




Anette Bringedal Houge

UiO, Faculty of Law Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law



2012-ongoing     PhD, Criminology, University of Oslo      

2005-2008            MA, Peace and Conflict studies, University of Oslo

2005-2005            Specialization in tropical environment and development, Universidad de Costa Rica

2003-2005            BA, Nature and Environment, University of Oslo

2002-2003            Specialization in Development studies, Oslo University College



ISA International Studies Association, 2015-.

European Society for Criminology, 2015-.

European Criminology Group on Atrocity Crimes and Transitional Justice (ECACTJ), 2015-.

Narrative Criminology Research Network, member, 2013-.

Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law (IISL): visiting scholar, 2015, 2016.

PRIO’s Gender, peace and security research network, 2014-.

National Research School on Peace and Conflict, 2013-; steering group member, 2015-.

Norwegian Centre for Human Rights’ Thematic Working Group on Human Rights and Conflict, 2013-.

National research network on rape and sexual violence, Steering group member, 2013-.



European Journal of Criminology, Griffith Law Review, Sociological Spectrum, Journal of Law and Politics, Graduate Journal of Social Science.


Susanne Karstedt

Griffith University, Australia School of criminology and Criminal Justice


Research focus

  • comparative perspectives on crime and justice;
  • state crime and atrocity crimes;
  • transitional justice, historical and comparative perspectives


Susanne Karstedt : Legal Institutions and Collective Memories. 2009.
Susanne Karstedt : The Emotion Dynamics of Transitional Justice. 2016.
Susanne Karstedt : Managing Criminal Reputations. West German Elites after the Nuremberg Trials, 1946 – 1960.. 2015.


Susanne Karstedt is a Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University, Australia since 2015. Before she held Chairs in Criminology at the University of Leeds (until 2014) and Keele University (2000 – 2009). In Germany, she taught and researched at the Universities of Hamburg and Bielefeld.

She is on the editorial and advisory boards of numerous journals, including the British Journal of Criminology. She serves on advisory boards for several institutions, including the Max Planck Institute of Foreign and International Criminal Law, and was on the boards for law and criminology of the German Research Association and the Research Foundation Flanders. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, the American Bar Foundation and the Cambridge Institute of Criminology.

She is the recipient of the Christa Hoffmann Riehm Award for Socio-Legal Studies (2005), the Award for Outstanding Services to the International Society of Criminology (2006), Thorsten Sellin and Eleanor and Sheldon Glueck Award of the American Society of Criminology (2007) and the International Award of the Law and Society Association (2016).


Research focus

  • International Criminal Justice
  • Comparative Criminal Law
  • Transitional Justice
  • International Crime Control


Nandor Knust : Criminal Law and Gacaca (Strafrecht und Gacaca). 2013.
Nandor Knust, Madalena Pampalk : Transitional Justice & Positive Complementarity (Transitional Justice und Positive Komplementarität). 2013.


Nandor Knust studied law at the universities of Frankfurt and Paris. He worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania and he carried out several field research visits to the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

As a member of the International Max Planck Research School for Comparative Criminal Law (IMPRS-CC) he completed his dissertation about a pluralistic model of Transitional Justice in 2011 that was awarded with the Otto-Hahn-Medal for outstanding scientific achievements.

He is heading the International Criminal Law Section of the MPICC and serves as Scientific Coordinator of the IMPRS-CC.

Nandor Knust is/was lecturer at a plurality of universities such as the University of Mannheim; Tumaini University, Tanzania; Arcadia University (with the East African Community) in Arusha, Tanzania and the School of Governance, Law and Society at the Tallinn University, Estonia and the Campus Helsinki, Finland.


Kjersti Lohne

University of Oslo PluriCourt – Center for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judi…


Research focus

Lohne's primary thematic interest is the role of judicalisation and criminal punishment in the making of global social order, which she is currently approaching through a number of different empirical research fields and projects:

  • International criminal justice (book project and articles based on her doctoral research and more)
  • The Guatanamo military commissions (ongoing project at PluriCourts)
  • Rule of (criminal) law development and "penal aid" to so-called failed or transitional states (forthcoming postdoctoral research project at IKRS).
  • Rights-based approaches to humanitarian action (with Kristin Bergtora Sandvik)

Lohne has also published in international peer-review journals on other research topics, such as privacy and data protection, gender, crime and sexual violence, and drones.


Kjersti Lohne holds a doctorate in Criminology from the University of Oslo (2015). Her doctoral thesis, Advocates of Humanity: Human Rights NGOs in International Criminal Justice, analyses the cultural meaning of global justice-making through international criminal law, and focuses specifically on the role that human rights NGOs play in the materialities and imaginaries of international criminal justice. It is based on a multi-sited ethnography including interviews with key players in The Hague (and other places in the Netherlands) and in Uganda as well as Belgium, Norway, Rwanda and the UK.


Aleksandar Marsavelski

University of Zagreb Chair for Criminal Law / Max Planck Partner Group for Balkan Criminology


Research focus

  • Corporate Crime,
  • Political Crime,
  • War Crimes,
  • Terrorism,
  • Transitional Justice,
  • Restorative Justice


Aleksandar Marsavelski is Assistant Professor at the University of Zagreb (Croatia). He graduated at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb in 2008 (summa cum laude), and during his studies he obtained the Dean´s and Rector´s award. From 2009 to 2010 he worked as junior assistant in the Directorate for Criminal Law, Ministry of Justice of Republic of Croatia. Since 2010 he works at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb. In 2012, he obtained his LL.M. degree at Yale Law School (USA). In April 2014 he became a member of the Max Planck Partner Group for "Balkan Criminology". He completed his PhD (summa cum laude) in a joint degree programme at the University of Freiburg (Germany), supported by the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law's doctoral scholarship (2014-2015). In 2016, he recieved the Annual Best Young Scientist's Paper Award from the Society of University Professors, Scholars and Other Scientists in Zagreb for the article Responsibility of Political Parties for Criminal Offences: Preliminary Observations, Challenges and Controversies


Stephan Parmentier

University of Leuven Faculty of Law, Leuven Institute of Criminology


Research focus

  • Transitional justice,
  • truth commissions,
  • victim reparations,
  • Central Africa,
  • South America


Stephan Parmentier studied law, political science and sociology at the universities of Ghent and Leuven (Belgium) and sociology and conflict resolution at the Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (U.S.A.). He currently teaches sociology of crime, law, and human rights at the Faculty of Law of the University of Leuven and is the former head of the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology (2005-2009). He is a Board member of the Centre for Global Governance Studies at the University of Leuven and a member of the Leuven Mediation Platform. He is in charge of international relations in criminology at Leuven University and in July 2010 was appointed Secretary-General of the International Society for Criminology (re-elected in August 2014). He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Oxford Centre of Criminology and the International Centre for Transitional Justice (New York).


All over the globe he has served as a visiting professor (Oñati, San José, Sydney, Tilburg, Tokyo), visiting scholar (Oxford, Stellenbosch, Sydney) and guest lecturer in the fields of human rights, justice and peace, criminology and socio-legal studies. Stephan Parmentier is the founder and co-general editor of the international book Series on Transitional Justice (Intersentia Publishers, Cambridge/Antwerp), and editor of the newly established Restorative Justice International Journal (Hart Publishing, Oxford). He co-directs the Flemish Interuniversity Network on Law and Development and co-organises the summer course on Human Rights for Development. He also serves as a referee to the ERC funding scheme of the European Union, and other national and international research foundations.


Over the past quarter century he has been an advisor to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the Belgian Minister of the Interior, the Belgian Federal Police, the King Baudouin Foundation, and Amnesty International. His research interests include political crimes and transitional justice, human rights and asylum, and restorative justice and peacebuilding. Between 1999 and 2002 he served as the vice-president of the Flemish section of Amnesty International.


Mina Rauschenbach

KU Leuven/UNIL Leuven Institute of Criminology/ Institute of Social and Political Sc…


Research focus

  • Non-judicial forms of TJ,
  • attitudes about justice and conflict,
  • intergroup processes


Dr. Mina Rauschenbach is a Research Affiliate at the Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC) and a Lecturer at the Institute of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lausanne. She is currently working at LINC on survey data collected in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, focusing particularly on perceptions of non-judicial transitional justice measures. This project aims to assess the relationships between support for non-judicial TJ measures, beliefs about responsibility and victimhood, experiences of the conflict, and how these are tied to support for the role of agents of transformation that are often assumed to promote or hinder reconciliation (e.g. politicians, NGOs, schools, media).

Her main research areas concern the role of responsibility and victimhood attributions, as well as identity concerns, in processes of international and domestic justice and their significance in shaping justice perceptions and needs, as well as the role of non-judicial forms of justice in restoring social ties after conflict.

Klaus Sessar

University of Hamburg Institute of Criminal Sciences, Department of Criminology


Research focus

  • Criminal Sociology,
  • Public Attitudes,
  • Alternatives to Punishment


Born in Berlin in 1937, married to Dr. Ellen Sessar-Karpp. Studies in Law at the Universities of Munich and Freiburg/Germany (1958-1963) Legal internship (1963-1967). Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg, heading the section “Criminal Law in France” (1967-1970); doctoral thesis concerning “Law and Criminal Policy regarding Imprisonment in France” (1970). Research visit at the Institut de Criminologie of the Université de Montréal/Canada (1970-1971). Study of sociology at Boston University/USA; graduation with a Master of Arts in Sociology (1971-1973). Collaboration in various research projects of the newly established Criminological Department of the Max Planck Institute after the return to Freiburg (1973-1982). Completion of the Habilitation with the research work on “Legal and Social Processes to Define Criminal Homicide” (investigation of the so-called ’mortality rate’ of 800 cases of intentional homicide between the definition by the police and the final definition by criminal courts). Disciplines covered by this act: Criminology, Criminal Policy, Juvenile Penal Law and Corrections. Conferred Title: Privatdozent (1981). Full professor for Criminology, Juvenile Penal Law and Corrections at the Faculty of Law, University of Hamburg (1982-2002). Retirement in 2002.  


Research focus

  • Theoretical integration of psychology and criminology (mass violence)
  • .Crime, health and human development
  • Understanding and reducing the effects of environmental and family stress on children and youth


Jon Shute is a Criminologist working at the Centre for Criminology & Criminal Justice (CCCJ), University of Manchester Law School. Jon has enduring research interests in crime, health and human development; in particular, understanding and reducing the effects of environmental and family stress on children and youth. He is also interested in the theoretical integration of psychology and criminology, and the application that integration to the study of mass violence.

His project role is to develop and apply a theory of ‘moral neutralisation’ to explain the denial strategies that are (I) used by perpetrators (and bystanders) when destroying bodies; (II) challenged, entrenched or transformed by the identification of bodies; (III) overcome – or possibly even further employed – in order to commemorate of the victims of mass violence. He is also interested in exploring the destruction of bodies as punishment (that is, as a subject of penological analysis), and in comparing the ways in which former criminals and former criminal states come to terms with their past.


Alette Smeulers

University of Groningen Department of Criminal Law - Faculty of Law


Research focus

Perpetrator of International Crimes

Causes of International Crimes

International Criminal Prosecution

Criminology of International Crimes

International criminal law


Current positions

  • 2016-             Professor in international criminology at the University of Groningen
  • 2015-              Freelance at Smeulers: training, research and consultancy
  • 2014-             Teacher at University College Amsterdam 
  • 2012-             Teacher at University College Tilburg

Other activities Scientific prizes and scholarships

  • 2014-             Co-chair European Criminology Group on Atrocity Crimes and Transitional justice
  • 2013-             Member of the editorial advice board of Genocide Studies International
  • 2012-             Research fellow at Intervict
  • 2012-             Initiating member of the  African Low Countries Network (ALCN).
  • 2012-             Member of the advisory board of Young Professionals Research Intiative
  • 2006-             Member of the editorial board of the book series Supranational Criminal Law, Intersentia
  • 2006-             Editor-in-chief of the newsletter Criminology and International crimes as off 2014 member of the editorial board
  • 2005-             Initiator and manager of the Supranational Criminology network
  • 2009            NWO - scholarship (207.000 Euro)  for the project: ‘Breaking the chain of command
  • 2008            Best Practice: Capita Selecta Sierra Leone by the Educational Centre of VU University, Amsterdam
  • 2005            NWO-VENI-scholarship (200.000 Euro) : ‘A criminological approach to individual criminal responsibility’
  • 1993            Honourable mentions of my master-thesis on perpetrators of international crimes by PIOOM


Julia Viebach

University of Oxford Centre for Criminology in the Faculty of Law


Research focus

  • Theoretical Approaches to Transitional Justice,
  • Memorialisation, Archives,
  • Research Methods and Ethics,
  • Rwanda and Great Lakes Region


Julia is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Criminology in the Faculty of Law. Previously, she was appointed a Early Career Lecturer at the Centre for Criminology and before that she worked as postdoctoral fellow in the ESRC Knowledge Exchange Project "Ways of Knowing After Atrocity" that was run by Oxford Transitional Justice Research (OTJR) and the Centre. Before she came to Oxford, Julia was a research fellow at the Center for Conflict Studies of University of Marburg.

Julia obtained her doctorate from the University of Marburg. Her doctoral research explored how societies remember their past after mass violence and how they deal with this traumatic rupture evoked by violence through memorial practices. Focused on the case of Rwanda, her thesis is both a empirical enquiry into memorialisation and transitional justice in Rwanda as well as the development of a broader theoretical concept of how societies deal with an uncanny past.

Her current Leverhulme project 'Atrocity's Archives: The Remnants of Transitional Justice' explores and compares the archival narratives of the Rwandan Gacaca Courts and those of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Julia's research is concerned with the ways narratives of the harm committed emerge and how the underlying assumptions of the Gacaca courts and the ICTR are addressed or silenced in the archival texts.


Maartje Weerdesteijn

Tilburg University Criminal Law


Research focus

  • dictators,
  • the responsibility to protect,
  • the causes of international crimes
  • ICC.


Maartje Weerdesteijn is a PhD candidate at Tilburg University, Department of Criminal Law. She obtained a Master in International Crimes and Criminology from VU University Amsterdam (Cum Laude), a Bachelor in European Studies (Cum Laude) and previously worked as a lecturer at the Criminal Law and Criminology Department of VU University Amsterdam. In 2014 she was a visiting scholar at Griffith University Australia at the Griffith Asia Institute.

Her PhD thesis entitled, "The Rationality of Dictators: Towards a more effective implementation of the Responsibility to Protect" is expected to be published in December 2016 and she has previously published in Genocide Studies and Prevention, Politics and Governance, International Criminal Law Review and Tijdschrift voor Criminologie.

At VU University Amsterdam she taught and coordinated several courses including International Crimes, Perpetrators & Bystanders, Policy in Practice and Terrorism, was head of the Education Committee, mentor to the students and supervised theses.

At Tilburg University she taught and coordinated the honours-track course "The Criminology of International Crimes."