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Europe's open societies and criminal justice: a challenging relationship 

Intrigued by how the EU and its Member States respond to cross-border crime such as terrorism, human trafficking, money laundering or even war crimes? Want to know more on European and international cooperation in criminal matters, on the enforcement of EU law, or the role of the EU as a global actor in international criminal justice? We seek students who share a passion for criminal justice with a strong interest in the transnational, European and global dimensions of crime, crime control and due process.

This LLM in European Criminal Justice in a Global Context offers you:

  • an advanced academic teaching curriculum, linking national criminal justice systems to EU criminal law, EU constitutional law, EU administrative law and international law;
  • an active international community of staff and students; 
  • both research-focused and skills-based learning activities, including academic writing, negotiations, moot courts, blogging and knowledge clips, to prepare you for today's dynamic job market; 
  • a full range of possibilities to develop your own profile via elective modules (‘capita selecta’) and individual thesis supervision by our staff throughout the year;
  • a direct contact to legal practice, via excursions to EU institutions and agencies, guest lectures from practitioners, and the extensive networks of our teaching staff;
  • great job opportunities at the national, European and international level.

⇒ For all of you who have obtained a Bachelor of Laws in the Netherlands this LLM offers you ‘civiel effect’.

Integrated criminal justice: opportunities and challenge

Digitalisation, internationalisation, and European integration pose challenges to criminal justice in all European countries. EU law and criminal law have entered into a dynamic interaction, which is redefining their very foundations, principles and concepts. Practice shows that there is an ever increasing need for practitioners and academics that properly understand these challenges and are able to transform them into opportunities for a fairer and more efficient legal system. Thorough knowledge of the EU dimension of criminal law has turned into an asset for any professional career in criminal justice. Our alumni are not only working at key European institutions – such as the EU Commission, the European enforcement agencies (the European Public Prosecutor's Office, Eurojust, the anti-fraud office OLAF), or the European judiciary – but also at the national level, such as for national prosecution services, the police, courts, law firms and government agencies, all over Europe.

We challenge our students to examine how criminal justice systems can adapt to the shifting and changing demands those systems face nowadays.

Content of the programme

The LLM in European Criminal Justice in a Global Context focuses on:

  • the constitutional foundations of criminal justice in a Europeanized setting, including the fundamental rights dimension and the harmonisation of defence and victims’ rights and safeguards across EU Member States;
  • the impact of EU law on domestic criminal justice, as well as its relationships with administrative law enforcement in areas such as anti-money laundering or financial fraud;
  • European and international enforcement cooperation and exchange of information, including the European Arrest Warrant, European Investigation Order, and European Production Order;
  • the relationship between national criminal justice and EU authorities such as Eurojust, OLAF, the EU Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA, to be established) or the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO);
  • the role of the EU and its Member States as global actors in criminal justice in areas such as the fight against terrorism or war crimes.

Programme objectives

Participating in this programme at Utrecht University is an opportunity to:

  • gain profound knowledge of EU criminal law and its interaction with national criminal justice systems and the international legal order;
  • develop a solid understanding of the EU Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, as well as its founding principles and concepts;
  • learn how to apply those principles and concepts in criminal cases, also purely national criminal cases;
  • evaluate the impact of EU policies and legal instruments to combat transnational crimes, also in light of their fundamental rights dimension;
  • learn to navigate in the complex web of judicial cooperation in criminal matters;
  • prepare for legal practice at the national, European or international level, by developing your oral and written communication skills and your ability to give and receive feedback;
  • develop a critical and reflective stance on pressing societal topics.

Career prospects

This specialist Master’s programme is designed to prepare you for today’s dynamic, fast-changing and increasingly globalised legal environment.

The perfect location

Utrecht is more than just a well-established classical university town: it is a vibrant community where local Dutch history comes together with a cosmopolitan population and an active student network. Every year, students from all over the world find their way to Utrecht and enjoy the experience of a lifetime. Many relevant institutions in the area of European criminal justice are also close by, including Eurojust and Europol in The Hague, and several Brussels and Luxembourg based EU and international institutions.

Key facts

European Law
Language of instruction: 
Mode of study: 
Study duration: 
1 year
Tuition fees: 
Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2024-2025: € 2,530

Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2024-2025: € 20,043

More information about fees
Croho code: 
Accredited by the NVAO
Law, Economics and Governance 
Graduate school: 
Law, Economics and Governance