International Criminal Justice (ICJ) introduces students to the nature and cause of crime at the international level and to the mechanisms for its prevention and control. Components of the criminal justice system as they apply to transnational and international crime are studied, as well as the impact of international law and human rights in addressing crimes against humanity. The major is intended to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed for careers in which the globalization of crime plays an important role. It also is designed to prepare students for advanced work in graduate or professional school.
What does this mean in plain English? On the one hand, International Criminal Justice is like other degrees in the social sciences. The major is constructed to emphasize basic skills (research, analysis, written and oral communication) that all social science graduates should possess. This means, ICJ majors are competitive for the wide range of employment opportunities that other social science graduates also seek out, including entry-level positions in the public (city, state, federal) sector, as well as in the private and non-profit sectors. Like other social science majors, ICJ majors are competitive for graduate programs in the social sciences, and for law school.
On the other hand, ICJ has a distinctive and unique topical focus. International Criminal Justice is an emerging, dynamic field of studies and the ICJ BA program at John Jay College can claim to be the first program of its kind. It broadly covers criminal justice from an international perspective. More specifically, the courses that students take in the ICJ BA program cover the following aspects:
- comparative criminal justice - cross-national variations in criminal justice systems, for example similarities and differences in policing, courts and corrections
- transnational crime - crime affecting more than one country, for example drug trafficking and human trafficking
- international law-enforcement and judicial cooperation - assistance, coordination and collaboration between the criminal justice systems of different countries, for example in the form of extradition and joint investigation teams
- supra-national criminal justice institutions - international institutions that help national law-enforcement agencies in tackling transnational crime, for example Interpol and Europol
- international crimes - grave crimes that the international community feels should not go unpunished under any circumstances, for example genocide and war crimes
- the legal and institutional framework for responding to international crimes, for example the International Criminal Court and international criminal law
- transitional justice - judicial and non-judicial responses by transforming societies to human rights violations under a previous regime, for example in the form of truth and reconciliation commissions