Past Events

Bribery and Corruption Conference: Modern Approaches to an Eternal Problem
9 - 12 July 2019 Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Bribery and Corruption have been an eternal problem which ultimately affects the most vulnerable in society. This conference tackled these issues. The focus included the scope of the problem, corruption prevention, risk management, investigation and law enforcement strategies, legislative reform and policies, international responses and evidentiary issues.

The Scourge of Trafficking in the 21st Century: Trafficking in humans, drugs, wildlife, and trafficking in antiquities to fund terrorism
16 - 18 July 2018 Montreal, QC, Canada

In 2018, ISRCL tackled the many issues surrounding trafficking: in humans, wildlife, drugs, firearms and antiquities. It examined trafficking as a source of funding for terrorists and organized crime. The focus included the scope of the problem, enforcement strategies, legislative reforms and policies, international responses, extradition and evidentiary issues.

Criminal Justice in the 21st Century
9 - 13 July 2017 - San Francisco, CA, USA

This conference explored the ins and outs of white collar crime; discussed how difficult it is to obtain evidence to prove these offences; how complex international legislation affects the prosecution and defense of these crimes; and sentencing trends. The conference included the all-important discussions in relation to police powers; sentencing and corrections.     

Protecting Privacy - Domestic and International Criminal Justice Responses to Crimes Against Personal Privacy and the Balance between Individual Privacy and Collective Security
24 - 28 July 2016 - Halifax, NS, Canada

This conference examined and promoted discussion and debate of the challenges that privacy concerns and technological change pose to international and national criminal justice systems. The key question is how the criminal justice system can properly respond to the competing demands of privacy, law enforcement effectiveness and national security.

Crossing Boundaries: Exploitation, e-Crime, Evidence, and Extradition
21 - 25 June 2015 - Edinburgh, Scotland

With an increase in the appreciation of the global nature of crime in the 21st century, no matter the size of a domestic jurisdiction, over the last generation all involved in working for justice have witnessed the rapid rise in the complexity of crime detection and prosecution, as physical and virtual elements of evidence require to be pursued across jurisdictions.

Crime and Punishment: Back to the Future for Sentencing and Corrections Reform
22 - 26 June 2014 - Vancouver, BC, Canada 

This conference considered sentencing and corrections reforms in the context of two significant historical events: the publication of Cesare Beccaria's essay "On Crimes and Punishment" and the "Ouimet Report of the Canadian Committee on Corrections". Influenced by the prevailing political views of the day, the jurisdictions from which the ISRCL's membershi are drawn have adopted, and also rejected, several corrections sentencing models (the rehabilitative model, a retributivist or "just deserts" model and an incapacitation model. Delegates discussed a wide variety of sentencing mechanisms and corrections policies including: indeterminate sentences, mandatory and mandatory minimum sentences, conditional sentences, conditional release restrictions, the setting of sentencing guidelines for the courts, parole and probation policies and restorative justice processes.

International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law 24th International Conference
Globalization of Crime - Criminal Justice Responses
7 - 11 August 2011 - Ottawa, ON, Canada 

This conference was hosted jointly with the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy with a focus on emerging crimes and new approaches to combating crime. Topics included dealing with transnational organized criminal groups which traffick in drugs, firearms, counterfeit products, stolen natural resources and people, as well as smuggling migrants across borders and engaging in maritime piracy and cybercrime, and the response of numerous jurisdictions to these plus other criminal justice concerns.

 Economic Crime, Crimes against Economies, and Economic Influences on Crime
June 2010 - Lisbon, Portugal

The theme of the 2010 conference was economic crime: offenses for which victims incur an economic cost or in which offenders act, individually or in concert, in order to gain financial returns. Some of these crimes pose a threat to whole economies and nation-states. The topics included Global and EU programmes to implement measures against international economic crime and against money-laundering, proceeds of crime and financing of terrorism, fraud, theft and extortion, identity theft, child pornography, piracy, crime and terror as well as crimes in narco and failed states and economic crimes that fund terrorism, the illegal arms trade, and gangs that threaten the existence of states.

Codifying the Criminal Law: Modern Initiatives
July 2008 - Dublin, Ireland 

This conference took place against the backdrop of the launch in 2007 of the Irish Criminal Law Codification Project. Topics for discussion included the current Irish codification initiative; differing approaches to codification in the common law tradition; the constitutional framework of codification; codifying the general principles of criminal liability; codiyfing excuse & justification defences; and codifying the Special Part, with particular emphasis on homicide and sexual offences. In addition, discussions included terrorism and the criminal law; drugs legislation; sentencing; victims and witnesses in the criminal process; dangerous and persistent offenders; mental disorder and the criminal law; young offender; and the criminal liability of corporations.

Twenty Years of Criminal Justice Reform: Past Achievements and Future Challenges
June 2007 - Vancouver, BC, Canada 

The 20th anniversary Conference re-visited and re-assessed the topics including the development of international criminal law, the International Criminal Court and the ad hoc international tribunals; international security and the criminal law; human rights and equality in the administration of criminal justice; international legal cooperation; the reform of the law of evidence; police powers of search; seizure and arrest; criminal justice, and social and health policy relating to illicit drugs; criminal code reform; the media and criminal justice; the corporation and the criminal law; the reform of sentencing, parole and community supervision of offenders; addressing wrongful convictions; extradition and international prisoner transfer treaties; and restorative and aboriginal justice alternatives.

Justice for All - Victims, Defendants, Prisoners and the Community
July 2006 - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 

The conference examined the criminal justice system to ensure that victims, defendants, prisoners, and the community receive a just outcome. It examined critical pretrial issues, consistency in sentencing, the role of the victim in sentencing, the relevance of prisoner rehabilitation, sentencing courts, and punishment in general.

Modernisation of Criminal Justice Systems
June 2005 - Edinburgh, Scotland, UK 

This conference examined the impetus for change in criminal justice systems, the rise of crime as a political subject, and the impact of technology and evidential techniques. The conference also discussed modernisation of criminal justice systems in the post-conflict of failed states, and also looked at infrastructures of communities and how economic and social structures affect the modernisation process.

Keeping Justice Systems Just and Accountable: A Principled Approach in Challenging Times
August 2004 - Montreal, QC, Canada 

This conference examined current challenges to national criminal justice systems and the developing international criminal justice system, and how these systems can become and then remain just and fair by adhering to established principles, norms and standards, including constitutional requirements.

Convergence of Criminal Justice Systems: Building Bridges, Bridging the Gap
August 2003 - Den Haag, Netherlands

This conference provided a forum for the study of the differing approaches to international criminal justice systems, a comparative analysis of criminal law and its processes in the common and civil law, as well as a glimpse at the criminal justice systems of non-Western legal cultures.

Technology and its Effects on Criminal Responsibility, Security, and Criminal Justice
December 2002 - Charleston, SC, USA 

The conference addressed the rapid advances of science and technology in the many different arenas related to crime and the enforcement and administration of the criminal law: new technological crime and security threats, which in turn have given rise to new technologies to combat these threats and other mechanisms to ensure a cooperative response by law enforcement and justice systems around the world; the use and admissibility of scientific evidence; the newest approaches and methods in the use of technology to improve the criminal justice system. The use of technology by government and the appropriate balance between liberty and security was also debated both generally and in the context of discussing the abrogation of civil liberties and to what extent this is justified to counter terrorist threats.

Politics, Crime and Criminal Justice
August 2001 - Canberra, Australia 

This conference explored the inter-relationship of politics and criminal justice systems at local, national and international levels including international treaties, programs and cooperative measures adopted to combat corruption internationally; the inter-relationship of police, prosecutor and judiciary in the criminal justice system; media influences upon the development of criminal law, justice policy and the administration of the criminal justice system; the state of Law Reform Commissions; and a study of the situration in East Timor, with insights from and comparisons to other international iniatives to restore justice systems in areas of civil strife.

Human Rights and the Administration of Criminal Justice
December 2000 - Sandton, South Africa 

This conference examined the development of the protection of human rights internationally and the influence of these developments on the national criminal justice systems in various jurisdictions and also examined the international response to human rights crimes, and current developments in international criminal courts.

Commerical and Financial Fraud: A Comparative Perspective
July 1999 - St. Julian's, Malta 

A comparative approach to the consideration of fraud in the fields of insurance, securities, banking and others as well as national and international responses to these issues focused on current developments worldwide.

Drugs, Criminal Justice and Social Policy: New Alternatives for an Old Problem
August 1998 - Bridgetown, Barbados 

This conference examined the many issues involved in illegal drug use including the problems and responses of different jurisdictions, anti-corruption measures and actions to identify and seize proceeds of drug crimes. The conference also studied the alternative approaches to combating the problem from an economic perspective as well as the health, social and criminal justice policy choices that have arisen from the relationship between injection drug use and HIV/AIDS. 

Law and Justice: Where Now? (10th Anniversary Conference)
July 1997 - London, England, UK 

This conference explored: new approaches to the problem of youth crime; police investigative powers, the development of an international criminal court; and the role of national criminal justice systems in the battle against international organized crime. 

Challenges to Criminal Justice in a Changing World
August 1996 - Whistler, BC, Canada 

Three topics were examined at this conference: sentencing and corrections issues from an international perspective; the independence of judges and lawyers and the role of the judiciary and lawyers in implementing international human rights standards; and a follow-up of discussions initiated at the 1994 Hong Kong conference relating to the prevention, detection and prosecution of commercial crime.

The Media and the Criminal Justice System: Fair Trial vs Free Press - An International Perspective
December 1995 - Santa Monica, California, USA 

The relationship of the media and the criminal justice system in many jurisdictions was considered with an examination of media influence on public policy, trial processed and investigations, among other issues. 

The Corporation and the Criminal Law - Victim and Violator
December 1994 - Hong Kong 

This conference comprehensively examined all aspects of the interaction of the criminal law and the modern corporation, from the intersection of the corresponding legal theories to the actual application of the criminal law to corporations.

100 Years of Criminal Codes
June 1993 - Ottawa, ON, Canada 

This conference focused on the development of the criminal law in many jurisdictions in the 100 years since Stephen's criminal code was first adopted in Canada in 1893.

Reform of Evidence
August 1992 - Vancouver, BC, Canada 

The examination of this topic included various theories of proof, a comparative analysis of the theories of criminal evidence of different jurisdictions, cross-cultural perspectives on the proof process, and legal and constitutional considerations relating to the proof process.

Equality in the Administration of Criminal Justice: Gender, Race and Class
August 1990 - Edinburgh, Scotland, UK 

The fifth Society conference critically examined the incidence and sources of inequality in the administration of criminal justice in the jurisdictions of Society members.

Criminal Code Reform
January 1990 - Washington, DC, USA 


Police Powers and Citizens' Rights
March 1989 - Sydney, Australia 


The Reform of Sentencing, Parole and Early Release
August 1988 - Ottawa, ON, Canada 


Reform of the Criminal Law
July 1987 - London, England, UK