Jan-Michael Simon

Senior Researcher

Main Focus

Crimin­al­ity of the power­ful in Lat­in Amer­ica, with par­tic­u­lar em­phas­is on Grand Cor­rup­tion: Re­search in­cludes the concept of –and dis­course on– polit­ic­al cor­rup­tion, its im­pact on polit­ic­al and crim­in­al justice sys­tems as well policies ad­dress­ing polit­ic­al cor­rup­tion (in­clud­ing pro­ced­ures for the se­lec­tion of law en­force­ment agents and judges). It also looks at the im­pact of polit­ic­al cor­rup­tion on hu­man rights (chal­len­ging the no­tion of polit­ic­al cor­rup­tion as a vic­tim­less crime) and on in­ter­na­tion­al se­cur­ity (chal­len­ging pre­sump­tions that the con­sequences of polit­ic­al cor­rup­tion are lim­ited to the do­mest­ic do­main). More re­cently, his re­search fo­cuses on the role played by in­ter­na­tion­al bod­ies cre­ated to sup­port na­tion­al law en­force­ment against polit­ic­al cor­rup­tion and hu­man rights vi­ol­a­tions.

Pun­ish­ment and the ex­er­cise of fun­da­ment­al rights in Lat­in Amer­ica: Re­search ad­dresses the inter re­la­tion between the polit­ic­al and the leg­al concept of a mono­pol­ized power of pun­ish­ment and the in­ter­na­tion­al pro­tec­tion of hu­man rights. Oth­er is­sues re­searched in­clude the lim­its of crim­in­al­iz­ing so­cial protest (in par­tic­u­lar through anti-ter­ror­ism le­gis­la­tion) as well as the lim­its of the pro­tec­tion of hon­or through crim­in­al law (in par­tic­u­lar the hon­or of seni­or na­tion­al of­fi­cials) vis-à-vis free­dom of ex­pres­sion.

Trans­ition­al justice in Lat­in Amer­ic­an post-con­flict and post-au­thor­it­ari­an so­ci­et­ies: Re­search fo­cuses on the the­ory of pun­ish­ment, crim­in­al li­ab­il­ity, stat­utes of lim­it­a­tion, ex­tra­ter­rit­ori­al crim­in­al jur­is­dic­tion and truth find­ing in and out­side the crim­in­al pro­cess as well as the ap­plic­ab­il­ity of in­ter­na­tion­al hu­man­it­ari­an law and of gen­er­al pub­lic in­ter­na­tion­al law in such con­texts. Re­search also ad­dresses mor­al (e.g. his­tor­ic­al guilt and ob­lig­a­tion of memory) and policy is­sues such as crim­in­al sanc­tions vs. con­flict res­ol­u­tion, truth seek­ing mech­an­isms vs. crim­in­al pro­cess and in­ter­na­tion­al crim­in­al jur­is­dic­tion vs. na­tion­al jur­is­dic­tion. 

Se­cur­ity and justice sec­tor re­forms in Lat­in Amer­ica: Re­search in­cludes the in­teg­ra­tion of mul­tiple crim­in­al justice sys­tems in fed­er­al polit­ic­al sys­tems (e.g. Mex­ico) and of dif­fer­ent no­tions of pro­tec­ted rights in cul­tur­ally het­ero­gen­eous so­ci­et­ies. Re­gard­ing the lat­ter, re­search con­cen­trated on en­vir­on­ment­al crim­in­al law re­lated to the con­sti­tu­tion­al right to a healthy, pro­tec­ted and bal­anced en­vir­on­ment (Bolivia) and the con­sti­tu­tion­al mod­el that con­ceives nature as Pacha Mama (Moth­er Earth in Quechua) and en­dows it with its own fun­da­ment­al rights (Ecuador). Re­search also in­cludes re­gion­al re­form agen­das tack­ling or­gan­ized crime and gen­er­al de­vel­op­ments of crim­in­al law and the rule of law in Lat­in Amer­ica .

At an in­ter­na­tion­al level, re­search find­ings on Lat­in Amer­ica have been shared in re­gions such as the Middle East (with fo­cus on con­flict and con­flict res­ol­u­tion) and Sub-Saha­ran Africa (with fo­cus on ad­dress­ing mass vi­ol­ence through crim­in­al law).

Curriculum Vitae

A law gradu­ate of the Uni­versity of Bonn, Jan Si­mon has been since 2001 a re­search­er and seni­or re­search­er at the Institute. Pri­or to as­sum­ing his po­s­i­tion as seni­or re­search­er in charge of in­ter­na­tion­al sci­entif­ic out­reach at the Institute, between 2003 and 2019, he provided sci­entif­ic sup­port and ad­vice to the dir­ect­or of the In­sti­tute's De­part­ment of Crim­in­al Law, in­clud­ing on re­search policies and fund­ing. Between 2004 and 2019, with­in the former struc­ture of coun­try sec­tions of the De­part­ment of Crim­in­al Law, Jan Si­mon was the head of the sec­tion Lat­in Amer­ica. Between 2005 and 2007 he co­ordin­ated the es­tab­lish­ment of the In­ter­na­tion­al Max Planck Re­search Schools on Re­tali­ation, Mediation and Pun­ish­ment (IM­PRS RE­MEP) and on Com­par­at­ive Crim­in­al Law (IM­PRS-CC). Between 2007 and 2019, he joined the IM­PRS-CC as its aca­dem­ic co­ordin­at­or. In 2018, he was a vis­it­ing re­search fel­low at the In­sti­tute of Leg­al Re­search of the Na­tion­al Autonom­ous Uni­versity of Mex­ico (UN­AM).

Professional Memberships and Activities

Jan Si­mon is a mem­ber of the edi­to­ri­al board of fi­ve law jour­nals in the La­tin Ame­ri­can re­gi­on (Re­vis­ta No­va Criminis/San­tia­go de Chi­le, Edi­to­ri­al Ju­ruá/Cu­ri­ti­ba, Re­vis­ta Jus­ti­tia/São Pau­lo, Re­vis­ta de Cien­ci­as Jurí­di­cas/San José, Re­vis­ta Stu­dia Iuri­di­ca/San José). He is a ho­no­ra­ry mem­ber of the Ame­ri­can Pu­blic Po­li­cy In­sti­tu­te (Rio de Ja­nei­ro/Brazil) and of the Bar of San­ta Cruz de la Si­er­ra (Bo­li­via) and Ica (Pe­ru).


Journal Article (17)

Journal Article
Simon, J.-M. (2021). La gran corrupción y sus daños. Revista Criminalia (Nueva Época), 88(1), 111–128. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-AF9C-4
Journal Article
Simon, J.-M. (2019). Derecho penal ecológico: Fundamentos para la protección penal de la pacha mama. Gaceta Penal & Procesal Penal, 125, 291–316. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-A1F0-5
Journal Article
Simon, J.-M. (2019). Protesta ciudadana en la sociedad abierta: condiciones mínimas para el ejercicio de la desobediencia civil. Revista Electrónica de Estudios Penales y de la Seguridad, 5, 1–14. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-A200-3
Journal Article
Simon, J.-M. (2018). Gran Corrupción y la lucha contra la impunidad de la delincuencia del poder. Revista Análisis de la Realidad Nacional, 7(153), 41–56. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-2F2F-6
Journal Article
Simon, J.-M. (2015). Corrupção e autoridade: as duas faces da "corrupção politica": Uma agenda de pesquisa. Revista Brasileira de Estudos Constitucionais, 9(33), 671–700. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-0E5B-A
Journal Article
Simon, J.-M., & Sabadell, A. L. (2014). Protestos Sociais, direitos fundamentais e direito a desobediência civil. Revista Brasileira de Estudos Constitucionais, 9(30), 521–544. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-0E42-5
Journal Article
Simon, J.-M. (2013). Posibilidades y límites de la persecución penal de las violaciones a los derechos humanos perpetrados en el pasado en la República del Haití: Entre el derecho nacional y el derecho internacional. Revista Derecho y Sociedad, 39(2), 35–51. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-3DFA-0
Journal Article
Simon, J.-M., & Galain Palermo, P. (2013). La imprescriptibilidad de las violaciones contra los derechos humanos cometidas en Uruguay (1973-1985). Revista Penal, (32), 222–249. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-3D5D-0
Journal Article
Simon, J.-M. (2012). Posibilidades e limites da perseguição penal das violações aos direitos humanos cometidos no passado na república do Haiti: Entre o direito nacional e o direito internacional. Revista Anistia Política e Justiça de Transição, (6), 262–299. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-3F96-F
Journal Article
Simon, J.-M. (2011). O esclarecimiento da verdade sobre graves violacioes dos directos humanos. RBCCrim, 92, 403–428. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-410E-3
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