This module is a resource for lecturers  




The UN standards and norms on crime prevention and criminal justice are authoritative legal norms adopted under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ). Through these mechanisms, Member States come together to identify benchmarks to be achieved in crime prevention and criminal justice policies and strategies, accounting for differences in legal traditions, systems and structures whilst providing a collective vision of how criminal justice systems should be structured. These norms are elaborated in approximately 60 different instruments (relating to persons in custody, non-custodial sanctions, restorative justice; justice for children, crime prevention, violence against women and victim issues, good governance, the independence of the judiciary, the integrity of criminal justice personnel, and access to legal aid) provide detailed minimum standards and technical models for domestic legislation.

Building on the foundational principles of humanity, fairness, efficiency and accountability, the UN standards and norms promote a culture of lawfulness based on the protection of human rights and the rule of law while respecting cultural identity and ensuring specific safeguards for individuals made vulnerable by their criminal justice involvement. This module provides materials that lecturers can use to teach students about the normative significance, and practical application of the UN standards and norms on crime prevention and criminal justice. Practical exercises and examples from a diverse range of contexts enliven these issues and provide the framework for engaging class discussions on topics relevant to human rights and equal human dignity for all who come into contact with the law, whether as victims; witnesses; alleged or recognized offenders; or as prisoners.

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