Vienna, 3 July 2023. 34 students from several universities across the world participated in the 2023 Summer School on Transnational Organised Crime held in Vienna from 12 June until 23 June 2023.
The Summer School, organized by the ECPR SGOC in cooperation with the UNODC Global Programme on Implementing the Organized Crime Convention, gave students the opportunity to learn from international experts and renowned scholars from organizations and institutions such as EU FRA, GI-TOC, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, OSCE, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, UK’s Royal United Services Institute, the University of Manchester, UNODC and Utrecht University.
Key topics discussed in the Summer School’s curriculum included transnational organized crime and its manifestations, criminal justice responses to transnational organized crime, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), the linkages between organized crime and terrorism, and techniques applicable to the study of transnational organized crime including data collection, research methods and risk analysis.
One of the participants, Ms. Anh Nguyen from Swansea University, highlighted the usefulness and effectiveness of the pedagogy of the Summer School which includes lectures and seminars as well as practical exercises, visits to other organizations such as the EU FRA, IOM, GI-TOC and OSCE, and film screenings. Referring to the enriching discussions with international experts and scholars, she emphasized that “Their narratives of hands-on experience in conducting research related to organized crime elucidated methods that I could learn and apply in my own research. It was thrilling to witness how these international organizations operate and effect changes in the security sector across the globe.”
Another participant, Ms. Kari Mariana Mancera Gómez from Universidad Católica de Colombia, stressed the significance of the knowledge acquired and how it helped her to develop a deep understanding of the topics. “I was able to learn many tools and methodologies that I am going to adopt on a professional and personal level. It is comforting to know that in many parts of the world a lot of people are doing things to try to have a different society.” Ms. Mancera Gómez underscored.
During the Summer School, the students were acquainted with the SHERLOC Portal, its features and databases, researched new cases on organized crime and drafted summaries of cases which will be reviewed and included in SHERLOC’s Case Law Database.
The Summer School provided both in-depth knowledge on the topics and hands-on learning experience through practical exercises as well as through peer-to-peer interaction and engagement with the lecturers and speakers. In this regard, one of the participants, Mr. Jade Hutchinson from Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, highlighted that “The collaborative atmosphere fostered an inclusive environment where everyone's viewpoints were appreciated. I felt like I was part of a vibrant community where my questions were valued, and I received guidance from the best in the field, creating a network that will support me throughout my career.”