Categories of International Crime

Categories of International Crime

Crimes against the international community

· Crimes committed by individuals and states which are seen as wrong by the International community

  • Eg. war crimes, genocide, terrorism, slavery

· Most significant recent development was the signing and ratification of the Rome Statute (1998).

· Following the Rome Statute, Australia legislated to criminalise those outlined in the statute, such as the War Crimes Act 1945, and the Geneva Conventions Act 1957.

· The Australian government also passed the following after ratifying the Rome Statute.

  • International Criminal Court Act 2002 (Cth)
  • International Criminal Court (Consequential Amendments) Act 2002

· The legislation also introduced a new chapter to the Commonwealth Criminal Code (Chapter 8: Offences against Humanity and Related Offences).

· Therefore, any crime in the Rome Statute is also a crime in Australia.

· The Attorney-General must report annually on the operations of the ICC and any impact it has on the Australian legal system.

Transnational Crime

· Crimes which occur within a states legal system but contain an international element

· Eg. hostage taking, terrorism, drug trade and pornography


· Established under the Australian Federal Police Act 1979 (Cth).

· Purpose is to uphold Commonwealth criminal law and to guard Australia’s interests from crime in Australia and overseas.

· Their role has grown considerably in recent years due to increase in transnational crimes.

· Has posts in more than 25 countries.

· Role is concerned with international capacity building, monitoring and peacekeeping, and specialist training for international law enforcement agencies to help prevent transnational crimes at the source and encourage international cooperation.

· Some of their international operations include child protection, counter-terrorism and stopping human and drug trafficking operations.


· Reports and provides advice on Australia’s compliance with its international obligations.

· Oversees the operation of legislation relating to transnational crimes and provides advice on implementation


· Investigates matters of national concern, and in coordination with other international law enforcement agencies.

· Delivers specialist law enforcement capabilities to assist in investigating and analysing intelligence concerning national and transnational crimes.

· The role of the agency includes reducing serious and organised crime threats of most harm to Australians and the national interest and providing national policing information systems and services.

Department of Home Affairs

· Responsible for the security and integrity of Australian borders.

· Works closely with other government and international agencies to prevent illegal transfer of goods or people across Australia’s borders.


Extract from Legal Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2009 Board of Studies NSW.