Research institutes

Maastricht Institute for Criminal Sciences

Located at the law faculty of the University of Maastricht, the MICS brings together scholars from all over the world with different academic and professional backgrounds such as law, forensic psychology, criminalistics, and criminology. The multidisciplinary research focuses on crime, criminal law, and criminal justice systems combining a legal comparative approach with a social scientific methodology. Our staff teaches a variety of bachelor and master courses both in Dutch and English. MICS is involved in numerous international academic and research networks.


More blog items
  • The very recent ruling of the CJEU in DK (C-653/19 PPU, 28 November 2019) came to verify two quite depressing suspicions about the current status of European criminal law. First, Directive 2016/343 on the presumption of innocence remains an instrument with staggeringly limited applicability especially in the field of pre-trial detention. Second, pre-trial detention stands as a political and legal hot potato: neither the CJEU nor the EU legislator are eager to provide common standards on pre-trial detention, even if the lack of these standards is partly to blame for problems of mutual trust between judicial authorities in the Member States.

  • National laws or ‘legal traditions’ are not the main obstacle to realising the ideal of ‘effective legal assistance’ embedded in the EU procedural rights’ Directives. The resistance to realising this ideal originates mainly from the professional cultures of relevant actors, including criminal defence lawyers, and the contemporary discourses of managerialism, efficiency and, as of lately, austerity.


Research at MICS is multidisciplinary and covers fields of criminal law, criminology, psychology, neurosciences and forensics. Apart from studying the law in the books and the law in action, the normative, cognitive and operational assumptions that underlie criminal policies and law making are at the core of our research. Contemporary challenges posed by crime are no longer limited to the nation state but require a multidisciplinary and global analytical framework. Shifting paradigms within criminal justice systems broadened the view from the nation state over the cross-border and European level all up to the international level and cyberspace.

MICS conducts cutting-edge research on three main focus-themes:

  1. Quality standards for criminal justice systems
  2. Additional and alternative responses to criminal justice
  3. International cooperation in criminal matters.

 Visit MICS's research

MICS’s research takes place in the following four out of five pillars:

1. Global Justice
2. Institutional Transformations
3. Globalising Markets
4. Cross-border Cooperation and Mobility
5. Law and Technology



More news items
  • Problemen bij het uitvaardigen en uitvoeren van Europese aanhoudingsbevelen (EAB’s) worden – onder meer – veroorzaakt door praktische onvolkomenheden, door onduidelijkheid over de Europese regeling en door fouten in de nationale wetgeving van EU-lidstaten.

  • The actor and activist Ossie Davis once said: ‘Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change—it can not only move us, it makes us move.’ In other words, art not only pleases and inspires, but it also provokes people to act. Those actions are not always legal, ethical, or moral. Lars van Vliet and Donna Yates both work in the field of looted art, from two different perspectives: private law and criminology.

  • Robert Horselenberg has been in charge of the Maastricht cold-case team since its creation about 10 years ago. Ten students, mostly from the master’s degree in Forensics, Criminology and Law, are given six months to study an existing cold case and come up with recommendations for the Public Prosecution Service and the cold-case team of the Limburg Police.

  • Elvira Loibl received an honorable mention from the selection committee of the Modderman Prize 2020 for her thesis, entitled 'The Transnational Illegal Adoption Market. A Criminological Study of the German and Dutch Intercountry Adoption Systems'. She wrote this thesis under the guidance of Prof. A.H. Klip, Prof. S.W.E. Rutten and Prof. E. Wesseling.