The typ­ic­al tri­al-ori­ented sys­tems of crim­in­al justice that are primar­ily based on the strict ap­plic­a­tion of sub­stant­ive crim­in­al law have reached their func­tion­al and lo­gisti-cal lim­its in most parts of the mod­ern leg­al world. As a res­ult, new sanc­tion mod­els, less form­al, ad­min­is­trat­ive, and dis­cre­tion­ary case dis­pos­als, plea bar­gain­ing ar-range­ments, and oth­er al­tern­at­ive pro­ced­ur­al and trans­ition­al justice mech­an­isms have emerged at un­pre­ced­en­ted levels in na­tion­al and in­ter­na­tion­al leg­al or­ders af­fil­i­ated both with the civil law and the com­mon law tra­di­tion. These norma-tive con­structs and prac­tices aim at ab­bre­vi­at­ing, sim­pli­fy­ing, or cir­cum­vent­ing the crim­in­al in­vest­ig­a­tion and pro­sec­u­tion. They seek to en­hance the ef­fect­ive­ness of con­flict res­ol­u­tion pro­ceed­ings and to shift the fo­cus of crime con­trol from re­pres­sion to pre­ven­tion.

The ana­lys­is of these top­ics, which il­lus­trate the gen­er­al paradigm shift cur­rently tak­ing place in crim­in­al law, ex­ceeds the scope of a single re­search con­tri­bu­tion. For this reas­on, the Max Planck In­sti­tute for For­eign and In­ter­na­tion­al Crim­in­al Law (Freiburg, Ger­many), the School of Law of the Queen Mary Uni­versity Lon­don (UK), and the European & In­ter­na­tion­al Crim­in­al Law In­sti­tute (Athens, Greece) are col­lab­or­at­ing on a more in-depth ex­plor­a­tion of these is­sues. As the first pub­lic­a­tion of this joint re­search agenda, the present them­at­ic­ally ed­ited volume ad­opts a gen­er­al ap­proach on al­tern­at­ive, in­form­al, pre­vent­ive, and trans­ition­al types of crim­in­al justice and the le­git­im­acy of new sanc­tion mod­els in the glob­al risk so­ci­ety. It does so main-ly by fo­cus­ing on dis­tinct­ive as­pects of na­tion­al, transna­tion­al, and in­ter­na­tion­al crime con­trol sys­tems as well as on the spe­cial re­gimes of counter-ter­ror­ism meas­ures and se­cur­ity law. The com­mon pur­pose of the stud­ies con­duc­ted for this re­search pro­ject is the com­par­at­ive, mod­el-based, and eval­u­at­ive (le­git­im­acy-ori­ented) ex­am­in­a­tion and ana­lys­is of the top­ics at is­sue.

The re­search­ers in­volved in this pro­ject are ex­perts and in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed schol­ars in this field. Their re­search res­ults were presen­ted and dis­cussed at an inter-na­tion­al con­fer­ence held on 26-27 Janu­ary 2018 at Middle Temple in Lon­don, UK. With all three in­sti­tu­tions deeply en­gaged in the ex­plor­a­tion of the form­al lim­its of crim­in­al justice and pun­ish­ment, this re­search col­lab­or­a­tion is ex­pec­ted to con­tin­ue with new stud­ies and co-or­gan­ized in­ter­na­tion­al con­fer­ences in Freiburg (June 2018), with fo­cus on the pre­ven­tion, in­vest­ig­a­tion, and sanc­tion­ing of eco­nom­ic crime and in Athens (2019), with fo­cus on cy­ber­crime.