This module is a resource for lecturers

Key issues

The Organized Crime Convention is one of the most important global tools to promote international cooperation to combat transnational organized crime. The importance given to cooperation in the Convention is made clear in article 1.

Article 1. Statement of purpose

The purpose of this Convention is to promote cooperation to prevent and combat transnational organized crime more effectively.

The word "cooperation" appears in the Organized Crime Convention 49 times, illustrating the centrality of that idea to the entire agreement, which enjoys near universal adherence. Enabling countries with different traditions, legal frameworks and bureaucracies to speak the same language is one of the central goals of the Organized Crime Convention, and one of the central tools to respond to the global threat posed by transnational organized crime.

In connection to differences between legal systems, the Organized Crime Convention devotes considerable effort to encourage international cooperation, while respecting domestic legal traditions as well as sovereignty (UNODC, 2012).

Article 4. Protection of sovereignty

1. States Parties shall carry out their obligations under this Convention in a manner consistent with the principles of sovereign equality and territorial integrity of States and that of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other States.

2. Nothing in this Convention entitles a State Party to undertake in the territory of another State the exercise of jurisdiction and performance of functions that are reserved exclusively for the authorities of that other State by its domestic law.

This Module will address several mechanisms developed to address transnational organized crime by enhancing cross-border cooperation. These measures include mutual legal assistance, extradition, international cooperation for transfer of criminal proceedings, and transfer of sentenced persons.

The sub-pages to this section provide a descriptive overview of the key issues that lecturers might want to cover with their students when teaching on this topic.