A group of University of Queensland law students has gained insight into corruption, money laundering and human trafficking thanks to an innovative law course in Switzerland this month.
The students participated in the first international crime and comparative criminal law course offered jointly by UQ’s TC Beirne School of Law and the University of Zurich (UZH).
Participating UQ student Ellen Wood said each student was required to research and give a 30-minute presentation. Her topic was human trafficking.
“Our topics were all extremely relevant to current world issues, and the professors were so passionate,” she said.
“They were our mentors and I was motivated to learn as much as possible.
“I gained a real interest in examining the world of human trafficking. I have rarely felt so stimulated, determined and challenged.
“It was very interesting hearing from the perspective of the Swiss students and it fuelled class discussion.”
The course was designed to enhance students’ abilities to research and engage with foreign and international legal material, critically analyse legislation and policy, and elaborate practical recommendations for international and national legal developments.
Coordinated by UQ’s Professor Andreas Schloenhardt and UZH’s Professor Frank Meyer, the course brought together 15 students from Brisbane and Zurich to focus on organised crime, including corruption, money laundering and human trafficking.
"Contemporary criminal justice is increasingly influenced by international law and law enforcement,” Professor Schloenhardt said.
"Countries differ in their ways in which this body of law is implemented. This course explores how common law and civil law jurisdictions such as Australia and Switzerland try to combat transnational crime."
It is a new initiative to foster undergraduate research and learning in an international environment. The next course is expected will be held in Brisbane in early 2017.
Professor Schloenhardt is a visiting professor at the University of Zurich Faculty of Law.