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Prof Chrisje Brants

Department: Northumbria Law School

Professor Chrisje Brants was born in the UK, but partly educated in the Netherlands. She studied journalism in Utrecht, worked as a journalist and then, deciding she knew everything about nothing and nothing about everything, went back university to study criminology and law in Amsterdam, where she obtained her doctorate in 1991

After 6 years at the department of criminology in Amsterdam as a contract researcher, she moved to the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology, Utrecht University to become a lecturer in criminal law and procedure. Since 1997, she has been professor of criminal law and criminal procedure there, and was head of department until 2006. She became professor at Northumbria University (part time) in October 2013, to her delight rounding off her academic career on the Tyne, where she was born. She now alternates between England and the Netherlands, living six months of the year in each country.

Given her bi-national/bi-lingual and multidisciplinary background, Chrisje has always been interested in the comparison of legal cultures, in particular from a multidisciplinary perspective. She collaborates intensively with different groups of international scholars, which has resulted in numerous books and other publications in leading journals and is a regular guest speaker at international conferences. She is a member of the Académie Internationale de Droit Comparé and the Dutch Association for International Comparative Law, was co-founder and board member of the Dutch-Flemish Association of Criminal Law, and is a fellow of the European Law Institute.


LLM and doctorate in law and social sciences

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

International criminal justice, comparative studies on different aspects of criminal procedure, and crime, criminal justice and the media.

Sponsors and Collaborators

  • Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology, Utrecht University

  • Department of Criminology, Free University, Amsterdam (prof. W. Huisman, dr. Joris van Wijk)

  • Cardiff Law School (prof. Stewart Field)

  • University of Leeds (prof. Susanne Karstedt)

Key Publications

The vulnerability of Dutch criminal procedure to wrongful conviction, in: Wrongful Conviction. International Perspectives on Miscarriages of Justice (eds. C. Ronald Huff & Martin Killias), Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2008, p.157-182.

General Report on Fundamental Rights in Criminal Process for World Conference AIDC, Mexico 2008. Utrecht Law Review, Special Issue: Developments in the Protection of Fundamental Human Rights in Criminal Process, Volume 5, Issue 2, October 2009, ( p. 7-65.

Consensual, Abbreviated and Simplified Procedures in the Netherlands. In: World Plea Bargaining. Consensual procedures and the Avoidance of the Full Criminal Trial (ed. Stephen C. Thaman), Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2010, 181-219.

Legal Culture and legal Transplants, in: Netherlands Reports to the Eighteenth International Congress of Comparative Law, eds. J.H.M. van Erp & L.P.W. van Vliet, Antwerp etc.:Intersentia, 2010, p. 1-192

Issues of Convergence. Inquisitorial Prosecution in England and Wales. Nijmegen: Wolf Legal Publishers, 2011 (with A. Ringnalda)
- Guilty Landscapes. Collective Guilt and International Criminal Law, in: Cosmopolitan Justice and its Discontents (eds. Katja Aas & Cecilia Baillet), Oxford: Routledge, 2011, p.53-68

Comparing criminal process as part of legal culture, in: Comparative Criminal Justice and Globalisation (ed. D. Nelken), Ashgate 2011, p.49-68

Transitional Justice: History-Telling, Collective Memory and the Victim-Witness. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, Special issue: "Transitions from Violence. The Impact of Transitional Justice.", vol. 7, 1, 2013 (with Katrien Klep);

Transitional Justice. Images and Memories, Farnham: Ashgate, 2013

Tunnel vision: only human? In: Wrongful Convictions and Miscarriages of Justice: Causes and Remedies in North American and European Criminal Justice Systems (C. Ronald Huff and Martin Killias (eds.), New York: Routledge, 2013.

A list of publications from 2000 onwards, including those not in English, can be found on:


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