Courses & Units

Transnational Crime HGA345


Certain types of crimes are perpetrated across national borders and require a unified regional or global response to combat them. This unit will critically examine the transnational system of criminal justice that attempts to regulate cross border crime, asking questions as to the principal purpose and effectiveness of transnational enforcement mechanisms.
In this unit we will explore how states, acting together, are responding to a broad range of criminal activities including people trafficking, trafficking of illicit goods (ie drugs, arms, wildlife ), environmental crime, piracy, corruption, money laundering , terrorism and cybercrime.
The suppression of transnational criminal activities have become a major global concern. In this unit we will explore the scale of the criminal threat and the complexity of synergising the criminal laws of different states in an effort to identify, synthesise and create new ways of understanding and making prediction about the future direction of transnational criminal justice.
This course will cover;
The normative foundations of international criminology ; What is transnational crime?; Why is there a rise in globalised crime?; We look at the theoretical principles underlying criminalisation and control of crimes that transgress national borders and study the United Nations criminal justice system and its enforcement mechanisms in the suppression of transnational crime.

Comparative legal systems and criminal justice in context; In this segment of the unit we; (i) Critically examine the ambivalent concept of transnational crime; (ii) Understand diverse legal traditions, crime and punishment philosophies around of the world; (iii) Consider the challenge of crime prevention from an international context; and (iv) Critically examine the effectiveness of protection and promotion of transnational criminal justice globally. How effective is the international system in regulating crime; from national to global, from empirical to legal?

Substantive crime; In this segment we classify crimes individually and explore a selection of substantive transnational crimes from exploitation crime to commodity crime and from facilitative crime to organisational crime. Special attention is given to transnational environmental crimes and concepts of criminalising ecological harm. Other categories of crime include; trafficking in humans, drug trafficking, trafficking in firearms, Illegal wildlife trade, international fraud and money laundering, maritime crime and piracy, cybercrime and terrorism.

• Modes of offending Transnational Organised Crime and Corporate Crime: In some instances crimes are committed by transnational companies (and other non-state actors) yet regulation and criminalisation of the behaviour of corporations is grossly underdeveloped in our international criminal framework. There are no legal or penal sanctions to hold corporations to account. There is no recognition of corporate criminal responsibility and/or corporate complicity in our international legal consciousness. Similarly, large organised crime syndicates and terror networks have transformed and expanded their criminal activities far beyond gambling, racketeering, sex, narcotics and stolen property to a highly coordinated globalised criminal underworld. The challenge for criminologists is to respond to new and globalised modes of criminal offending.

• Realising a protective framework; In the final segment of the unit we identify synthesise and create new ways of understanding and making prediction about the future direction of transnational criminal justice. We explore ways of adopting, implementing and establishing mechanisms of enforcement through international, regional and domestic structures and consider practices and procedures for international cooperation against transnational criminals including police cooperation, asset recovery and extradition.


Unit name Transnational Crime
Unit code HGA345
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Social Sciences
Discipline Sociology and Criminology
Coordinator Doctor Vicky Nagy
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


This unit is currently unavailable.


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Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the main features of transnational crime and criminal activities.
  • Analyse efforts to govern cross-border crime, and the challenges associated with coordinating effective responses.
  • Apply relevant theories and concepts to specific examples and cases of transnational crime.
  • Communicate your ideas clearly in written and verbal form.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
091101 $1,812.00 $850.00 not applicable $1,812.50

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

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25 credit points at Introductory level or higher


AssessmentInfographic (20%)|Journal (30%)|Essay (50%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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