Louk Hulsman

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Lodewijk Henri Christian Hulsman, known as Louk Hulsman (8 March 1923 in Kerkrade – 28 January 2009 in Dordrecht) was a Dutch legal scientist and criminologist.


After finishing school Hulsman hooked up with a resistance movement. In 1944 he was convicted of using counterfeit identification papers and imprisoned at the Amersfoort concentration camp. While being transferred to Germany he successfully escaped. After returning to the Netherlands he joined the Allied troops as a soldier during the last weeks of the Second World War.

From 1945 to 1948 Hulsman studied jurisprudence at Leiden University. After his exams he first worked for the Dutch Ministry of War and later for the Dutch Ministry of Justice. In 1963 he became a professor for criminal law und criminology at the Netherlands School of Economics, the later Erasmus University Rotterdam (emeritus 1986).[1] He is a main author of the Council of the Europe’s influential report on decriminalization (Council of the European Union, Report on Decriminalization, Strasbourg 1980)

He last lectured at the Academia Vitae in Deventer.

Together with Nils Christie and Thomas Mathiesen he is a distinguished representative of the prison abolition movement.

Publication & Articles (selection)[edit]

  • Louk H.C. Hulsman/Jacqueline Bernat de Celis (1982): Peines Perdues. Le système pénale en question. Paris.
  • Louk H.C. Hulsman (1983): Abolire il sistema penale?, in: Dei delitti e delle pene 1, pg.71-89.
  • Louk H.C. Hulsman (1986): Critical Criminology and the Concept of Crime, in: Contemporary Crises, 10 (3-4), pg.63-80.
  • Liber Amicorum Louk Hulsman: Social problems and criminal justice (1987), Juridisch Instituut, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
  • Louk H.C. Hulsman (1991): The Abolitionist Case: Alternative Crime Policies, in: The Israel Law Review 25 (2-4), pg.681-709.

Further reading[edit]

  • R. S. de Folter, 1986: On the methodological foundation of the abolitionist approach to the criminal justice system: A comparison of the ideas of Hulsman, Mathiesen and Foucault. In: Contemporary Crises 10, P. 39-62
  • René van Swaaningen (1997); Critical Criminology - Visions from Europe - Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Paperback ISBN 978-0-7619-5145-2

External links[edit]


  1. ^ EM.Online, 10 August 2009