Transnational Crimes: The Third Limb of the Criminal Law

24 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2006

See all articles by M. Sornarajah

M. Sornarajah

National University of Singapore - Faculty of Law


Transnational crime must be seen as a by-product of globalization. The same technological means which integrate the world's markets are used in the commission of crimes that have global effects. The need for the evolution of common rules and procedures to combat them is now coming to be recognized through the formulation of conventions and treaties containing common rules and strategies. These international standards have to be translated into domestic law, thus giving rise in the criminal law systems of states to a distinct body of crimes that are not dependent on the morality or the security of that state alone but on the concerns of other states and the global community as a whole. This would necessarily create a new limb in every criminal law system. The development of this new limb of the domestic criminal law will increasingly be dictated by events outside the state. This article is an effort at detailing the parameters of this new limb and at outlining the course of its possible future development.

Suggested Citation

Sornarajah, M., Transnational Crimes: The Third Limb of the Criminal Law. Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, pp. 390-413, 2004. Available at SSRN:

M. Sornarajah (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776

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