Today, issues of international criminal justice are issues for the American judge, jury, and lawyer. This phenomenon is a product of increased movement of peoples and businesses across borders, and increased efforts by the United States to combat crime globally, including drug trafficking and bribery. The ABA Criminal Justice Section’s International Committee sits right at the cusp of these developments, which span a wide range of legal topics. Co-chair Robert Johnson explains that students can find international issues within the US criminal justice system in areas such as “the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, corruption in business practices, identity theft, fraud and, from a humanitarian perspective, human trafficking.”
The International Committee coordinates with the broader Criminal Justice Section, committees within the ABA International Law Section, as well as outside organizations like the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law. The committee aims to forward dialogue on international criminal justice topics such as the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, international double jeopardy, and foreign nationals in US courts. One committee initiative is to create a manual on the implementation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The committee was recently involved with the conference, “Crime and Criminal Justice––Exploring the International, Transnational and Local Perspectives.” Committee members have also worked with law students assisting them with legal writing on the topic and facilitating writing opportunities.
Students interested in becoming involved in a discussion involving practitioners from around the globe and a diversity of legal backgrounds are encouraged to join the section. Membership in the committee is free. Members get notifications about upcoming events and programming in the subject. Additionally, the committee is currently developing CLE programming for future ABA events and is coordinating with the liaison program to create a collection of summer internship opportunities for students interested in international criminal justice issues.