Courses & Units

Transnational Crime HGA345



Due to the circumstances around COVID-19, you will begin your semester 2 studies online in 2021. However, when Government guidelines change, on-campus studies will be reintroduced.


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 Gwynn MacCarrick
Available as student elective? Yes


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus Off-Campus International International Domestic Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 22/2/2021 23/3/2021 12/4/2021 30/5/2021

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2021 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2021 will be available from the 1st October 2020.

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Summarise, analyse and appraise conceptual and theoretical knowledge and contextual understanding of the challenges associated with global governance and the complexities of coordinating an effective response to transnational crime
  • Identify issues and critically analyse developments with reference to a global context
  • Undertake research independently, interpreting relevant material, to produce an academic argument that makes professional conclusions, and synthesises relevant policy matters.
  • Apply critical analytical thinking to generate appropriate responses to complex problems
  • Communicate professional conclusions effectively in a required format
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 here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
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Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.


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


Required Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.
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