This module is a resource for lecturers


The philosophy and principles underlying criminal sentencing around the world are based upon a variety of factors that rely on the nature of crime, the nature of the offender and the social objectives sought by imposition of the sentence. This Module addresses the purposes of sentencing, aggravating and mitigating factors to be considered, and sentencing options related to organized crime. The Module also outlines the stand of the United Nations on the death penalty. Seizure, confiscation and the final disposal of confiscated assets as well as the protection of the rights of third parties are also discussed.

Topics covered

  • Punishment principles (deterrence, proportionality, rehabilitation, incapacitation and reparation)
  • Aggravating and mitigating factors
  • Gender and punishment
  • Enhanced punishments
  • The Three Strikes law
  • Death penalty
  • Alternatives to imprisonment
  • Criminal confiscation
  • Non-conviction-based confiscation
  • Protecting the rights of third parties

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the array of sentencing options in organized crime cases.
  • Evaluate the utility of different sentencing tools in transnational organized crime cases.
  • Assess the arguments on balancing the public interests in punishing and reintegrating offenders and confiscating assets in transnational organized crime cases.
  • Assess the rationale for different sanctions in organized crime cases.