International Criminal Justice (ICJ) is a relatively new field of study and despite the fact that it is closely related to the field of comparative criminal justice, it also includes components from such academic disciplines as politics and economics, sociology and anthropology, computer and information science, law and public administration, gender studies and linguistics, and many others. The multidisciplinary nature of the field makes it practically impossible to provide the researcher with a definite list of resources.
ICJ research encompasses criminal justice issues going beyond the local or national level. It looks at various crimes and criminal justice responses to them from a global perspective.
Depending on your topic, you may be able to locate reliable information sources right away; however, some topics will require more time to dig for information.
Where to look for information will depend on the nature of the research question and most of all on the currency of the topic and its interest to the public.
In our times, the internet is the first source of information. But don’t forget that books still have value if you are looking for an in-depth treatment of a subject. Generally, some time will have passed before a new issue is widely treated in a published book. Sometimes an issue is so narrow that it will only be mentioned in a chapter of a book or in a journal article. Information on developing issues will be available in the form of newspaper articles, and current affairs on the TV or radio, over newswires, and on the web. Articles in popular magazines start to appear earlier than publications in scholarly journals. Proceedings of conferences and documents produced by international organizations are very good sources of information but are increasingly released on the web at the time of the conference and published proceedings might appear with some delay or not produced at all. Early developments and overviews of a topic can be presented in general and specialized encyclopedias, handbooks, and even textbooks in related fields and will serve as good introductory sources for your research.
If you find an article or a book that is perfect for your topic, check their reference or additional readings lists – it will contain other useful sources of information related to your research. Then run a search in the library discovery tool GALILEO or one of our Subject Databases to see where and how these materials can be accessed.*
"The World Prison Brief (WPB) is a unique database that provides free access to information about prison systems throughout the world. Country information is updated on a monthly basis, using data largely derived from governmental or other official sources. Each country page gives information on:
- total prison populations, and prison population rates per 100,000 of the national population
- the use of imprisonment for women, juveniles, and foreign nationals
- the extent of pre-trial/remand imprisonment
- prison overcrowding, as indicated by occupancy levels
- news and official reports on prison conditions
- details of local organizations and other resources
- department or ministry responsible for prisons, with contact information" -- From Website
"UNODC research constitutes the key global authority in the fields of drugs and crime, providing high-quality, essential evidence to inform policy-making and valuable sources of knowledge in drugs and crime domains, including in the framework of the Sustainable Development Agenda." -- From Website
Includes World Drug Report, Global Study on Homicide, Crime, and Criminal Justice information, etc.
The list of all International Courts and Tribunals and UN bodies pertaining to international law can be found here.
International Court of Justice (ICJ) - the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). The ICJ settles disputes between the States (not individuals). Background information on the court and its difference from other international judicial bodies can be found in the FAQ section.
International Criminal Court (ICC) - governed by the Rome Statute, is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. The ICC is an independent international organization and is not part of the United Nations system. The Court cooperates with the UN in many different areas, including the exchange of information and logistical support, and provides an annual report to the UN.
HEUNI – the official website for the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, a United Nations-affiliated institution.
UNICRI (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute) - assists intergovernmental, governmental, and non-governmental organizations in formulating and implementing improved policies in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.
UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) - this site has a list of Topics of activity ranging from corruption and drug-related crimes to maritime and wildlife crimes. Each topic area will have a link to either Resources and/or Publications and Statistics.
UNICRI and UNODC are part of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network (PNI). Other members of PNI are either UN-affiliated or leading national criminal justice institutions from all over the world. The network has been developed to assist the international community in strengthening co-operation in the crucial area of crime prevention and criminal justice. Its components provide a variety of services, including the exchange of information, research, training, and public education.
United Nations Surveys on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (CTS) is a tool to collect data on the incidence of reported crime and the operations of criminal justice systems with a view to improving the analysis and dissemination of that information globally. Using the menus is sometimes more efficient than using the search option of the screen.
UNdata is official statistics produced by countries and compiled by the United Nations data system, as well as estimates and projections. The domains covered are agriculture, crime, education, energy, industry, labor, national accounts, population, and tourism. Click on More on the menu to read about UN Data and get to the Advanced Search for guided search options.*
Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, ACJS Consider joining its International Section.
American Anthropological Association Check the Sections and Interests Groups section of the website.
American Political Science Association has such sections as Human Rights, International Security and Arms Control, and forty more.
American Sociological Association has many sections with an international flavor.
International Sociological Association Check the section of Research Networks on the association’s website.