Research Unit

Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy

01 January 1992 → Ongoing
Group leader
Other information
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Causes and prevention of crime
    • Correctional theory, offender treatment and rehabilitation
    • Courts and sentencing
    • Criminography and methods of criminological investigation
    • Criminological theories
    • Historical criminology
    • Police administration, procedures and practice
    • Private policing and security services
    • Punishment and criminal justice
    • Safety, prevention and police
    • Youth and life course criminology
    • Criminology not elsewhere classified
    • Criminal law
    • European law
    • Intellectual property law
    • International law
    • Legal institutions
    • Other law and legal studies not elsewhere classified
The Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP) has a decades-long tradition of conducting high-quality independent scientific research. It provides advice to policy and practice and participates in societal debates. The Institute is integrated into the Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law of the Faculty of Law and Criminology at Ghent University and consists of ten professors and many post-doctoral and pre-doctoral researchers. The IRCP has grown out of a group of lawyers and criminologists, but now houses scientists with a very diverse scientific background and education. The Institute (and its members) regularly advises national governments and authorities in different countries (e.g. Belgium, the Netherlands, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, etc.), interregional institutions and organizations such as Europol, Eurojust, European Commission, Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU (FRA), Council of Europe, OSCE and various UN organizations. In addition, theIRCP is also active within various international working groups and councils (e.g. SIS II SCG, EU Article 29 subgroup on Borders, Travel and Law Enforcement, Belgian data protection authority, etc.). The IRCP research focuses on the following themes: Belgian criminal law and criminal justice; European and International Criminal Law and criminal justice; drugs; organised crime, terrorism and corruption; sexual offending, prostitution and human trafficking; youth crime, juvenile justice and children’s rights; private security and intelligence; policing, spatio-temporal clustering of safety; privacy, technology, cyber, big data and surveillance; vulnerable groups; and theories and methods. The IRCP has very strong knowledge and scientific expertise in research methodology. IRCP applies the most appropriate quantitative and qualitative research methods in its research. The IRCP cooperates intensively and shares knowledge and research with topic-specific knowledge platforms such as PIXLES (Privacy, Information Exchange, Law Enforcement & Surveillance) and interdisciplinary research consortia such as the IDC Crime, Criminology & Criminal Policy or the business development center i4S - Smart Solutions for Secure Societies. The IRCP also focuses on dynamic partnerships with academics from other disciplines and experts from policy and practice. The IRCP is a robust and at the same time flexible research institute that focuses on research with a short and longer duration, on education, expert training, policy advice and ad hoc consultancy assignments. The IRCP opts for research with relevance for stakeholders in policy and practice.