Tilburg University department Criminal Law

Research Criminal Law

Crime research is intrinsically practice-oriented. The Department focuses on substantive criminal law and criminal procedure, on understanding criminal phenomena and their effects on society and on victims, as well as on the management of crime.

The emphasis of the research is on complex forms of organized crime and organizational crime, summarized under the heading 'subversive crime.' This research is conducted in close cooperation with other scientific disciplines and social partners, such as municipalities and the police.

Our research program

Our research program Crime and Criminal Justice in the Age of Globalization and Digitalization focuses on ‘subversive crime’ that undermines societies worldwide. We study the changes in crime, how these materialize and the responses to them.

Society is faced with crime that increasingly undermines societal institutions – municipalities, businesses, local communities – and affects vulnerable groups. These forms of ‘subversive crime’ (ondermijnende criminaliteit) not only adversely impact the functioning of society and democratic values, but also create feelings of insecurity, mistrust, and marginalization. Examples of subversive crime include organized crime, financial crime, terrorism, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and hate speech.

With the rise of powerful new actors (e.g., big tech) as well as new configurations of traditional governance actors (municipalities, cities, the EU, international criminal courts) we also witness new approaches to combat crime. State and non-state entities collaborate to fight transnational and international crime while the digitalization of crime has led to changes in techniques of prevention, detection, and criminal investigation.

This research program studies the changes in crime, how these materialize and the responses to them. We focus on legal pathways at the intersections of criminal law, labor law, administrative law (e.g., migration law) and tax law, all at various levels: domestic/comparative, European, as well as international and global levels. A critical approach to the role of law, informed by the reality on the ground, should lead to a 'reimagination' of legal pathways.