Who We Are


Founded in 1972 under the aegis of AIDP (International Association of Penal Law), The Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights is a non-for-profit organisation – foundation under Italian Law- with more than 40 years’ expertise in strengthening criminal justice systems worldwide and promoting human rights.
In a world struggling with globalised crimes such as terrorism, human trafficking or smuggling of drugs, national criminal justice systems must work in unison to succeed. Therefore, The Siracusa Institute develops actions that aim at:
  • Reinforcing capacities of the justice sector actors all around the world
  • Creating informal network of professionals to enhance international cooperation in criminal matters
  • Supporting the development of national legislation and justice actors capacities at national level
  • Advancing dialogue and research on key issues related to international criminal law and criminal justice
The Siracusa Institute activities are divided into three pillars:
  • The Global Training Programme aiming at strengthening knowledge of international criminal law worldwide and allowing the creation of international networks of professional for an enhanced cooperation in criminal matters
  • The Technical Assistance Programme aiming at providing tailored support to national criminal justice systems in the reinforcement of national justice actors’ capacities and in the elaboration of national criminal policies
  • The Knowledge Management Programme aiming at advancing dialogue and research on key issues and improving national and international policies through events and publications in the fields of criminal justice and international criminal law.
The Siracusa Institute benefits from an ECOSOC statute which entitles it to submit reports to the UN Committees. It holds a similar statute with the Council of Europe.


In January 1969 in Rome at the “Pre-Congress of the 10th International Congress on Penal Law of the AIDP, represented by its President Pierre Bouzat and its Deputy Secretary-General M. Cherif Bassiouni, and Siracusa officials discussed the establishment of the Institute.

The Siracusa Institute (International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences, ISISC) was established by Decree of the President of the Republic of Italy. The Siracusa Institute was founded in Siracusa, Italy on September 1972 by the International Association of Penal Law (IAPL/AIDP), with the support of the City, Province, and Chamber of Commerce of Siracusa. An agreement was subsequently entered into by the founding entities with the Region of Sicily, and a separate agreement was signed with the City of Noto.

The Region of Sicily, the City, Province, and Chamber of Commerce of Siracusa and the City of Noto are fixed sources of funding of the Institute. Contract-based funding is also obtained from the United Nations, the European Commission, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, international cooperation programs undertaken by other Ministries of Foreign Affairs, international organizations, and, on occasion, major private foundations.

Jean-François ThonyPresident
Jean-François Thony is the Prosecutor General of the Court of Appeal of Colmar (France) and the President of the Siracusa Institute (Syracuse, Italy). He began his career in the French Judiciary as Examining Judge (juge d’instruction), Deputy Prosecutor, and Chief Prosecutor.
M. Cherif BassiouniHonorary President
M. Cherif Bassiouni is Emeritus Professor of Law at DePaul University where he taught from 1964-2009. He was a founding member of the International Human Rights Law Institute at DePaul University which was established in 1990. He served as President from 1990-2008 and then President Emeritus. In 1972.
Ulrika SundbergVice President
Ulrika Sundberg is a Swedish diplomat, who currently acts as the Swedish Ambassador to Ireland. She holds a Master’s Degree in Law with substantial experience in the field of diplomacy. Ambassador Sundberg began her diplomatic career in 1989.
Ezechia Paolo RealeSecretary General
Ezechia Paolo Reale is a criminal defense lawyer, partner of the legal firm "Sallicano & Reale" in Siracusa. He has worked as an attorney since 1985, pleading before the Court of Cassation, the Disciplinary Chamber of the Italian High Council of the Judiciary and the European Court of Human Rights, among others.

Contact Us

The Siracusa Institute

Via Logoteta 27, 96100 Siracusa - Italy

Email: idc@siracusainstitute.org

Telephone: +39 0931 414515

Fax: +39 0931 67622