Association of American Law Schools
What is “transnational” criminal law? One possibility is foreign criminal law, meaning the scope and substance of what is deemed criminal behavior in other lands and the theories that ostensibly justify punishing for such behavior, indeed deeming it criminal in the first place. Another is foreign criminal procedure, the “how” of foreign criminal law’s “what” and “why”: the rules and practices of investigating crime, prosecuting suspected criminals, and adjudicating criminal cases in other lands or systems. More common meanings, judging from articles in U.S. law reviews, are comparative criminal law and comparative criminal procedure, though these might differ from their foreign-law counterparts only in that they add discussion of the law and practice of another land—typically our own—to the discussion of a foreign land or system. Equally common meanings are international criminal law and international criminal procedure: those species of wrongdoing that a group of nations collectively condemns and judges via tribunals whose jurisdiction and authority transcend national boundaries (plus, again, the theories that underlie this collective criminalization and punishment), and the rules for investigating such wrongdoing and prosecuting and adjudicating in these tribunals. And it can also mean extraterritorial aspects of national criminal law or procedure, such as the criminalization of conduct committed abroad, or the means of securing witnesses, tangible evidence, or defendants themselves from locations abroad for prosecutions at home.
Transnational Criminal Law and Procedure: An Introduction
Journal of Legal Education
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/2587