The criminal justice response to homicide

Homicides, persons suspected and persons convicted of homicide per 100,000 population, by region (2011 or latest year)



Analysing the capacity of criminal justice systems to bring perpetrators of homicide to justice is an important element in the assessment of a core responsibility of the State, as well as in the understanding of a factor that contributes to homicide levels and trends. An effective criminal justice system that ensures rigorous investigation and fair adjudication of suspected homicide offenders is a pre-requisite for upholding the rule of law and achieving justice for homicide victims, while, conversely, the impunity of perpetrators can actually contribute to the perpetration of more homicides.

The efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice response can be measured by a number of indicators, such as homicide cases solved by the police, persons arrested for and persons convicted of homicide.

In this chapter:
  • What are the regional differences in homicide clearance levels by the police? What does this mean?
  • What are the regional differences in impunity for homicide?
  • Are there trends in the criminal justice response to homicide? Are these different around the world?
  • What is known about homicide in prison?

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