Prof. Dr. Raluca Enescu | Associated Researcher

The State, Political Norms and Political Conflicts
Centre Marc Bloch, Friedrichstraße 191, D-10117 Berlin
Email: enescu  ( at ) Tel: +49(0) 30 / 20 93 70700

Home Institution : Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Position : Guest Professor "Diversity of Knowledge" 2016/2017, Humboldt University Berlin | Disciplines : Criminology , History of Science , Comparative Law |


Raluca Enescu earned her Ph.D. in Criminology on a topic stemming from her interest in the choice of verdict in criminal courts. The Swiss Science Foundation funded a replication of her research at national level with the whole body of crimnal judges. She carried out her latest projects at the Free University Berlin (argumentation and moralization by judges in the Crown Courts of England and Wales), at the University of Hamburg (miscarriages of justice and trust in European judicial systems) and at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (criminalistics in the decisions of the Imperial Court of Justice). Since 2015 she is an associate researcher at the Centre Marc Bloch. Her projects deal with judgments and penal orders, reopening of criminal cases, forensic methods, and wrongful convictions. In the winter semester 2016/2017, she has been invited as a Guest Professor in forensic sciences, forensic psychiatry and criminology at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In 2022 she took part with the project "Shadow of a Doubt: Forensic Sciences and Wrongful Convictions" in collaboration with a composer and a visual artist in the collective exhibition "Les de la carte", Galerie Alice Guy, Institut Français Berlin:


















Criminology, Criminal law, Penal(ty) orders, Wrongful convictions, Forensic sciences and techniques, False confessions, Police investigations, Verdict choice and sentence, Probative value of testimonies, History of science, Legal history



Penal orders in Germany, France and Switzerland

Wrongful convictions and trial de novo

Forensic knowledge in courts especially as evidence in criminal trials

Development of forensic sciences and of criminalistics

Organisation of Events

Project "A l'Ombre d'un Doute" [The Shadow of a Doubt] for the exhibition "30 Years Centre Marc Bloch", Institut français Berlin, 2022


Human Rights Conference, Humboldt University Berlin in collaboration with the Embassy of the Netherlands, 2011


Symposium on judicial decision-making, University of Lausanne, 7th Swiss Congress of Psychology, 2001





Summary procedures and wrongful convictions, advantages and risks of simplified criminal proceedings

The number of activities designated as criminal has increased with modern law-making. In these overcriminalised times, courts can no longer guarantee a complete trial for every criminal case. Simplified procedures have become an effective way to unburden courts by means of procedural economy. A penal order is a form of simplified procedure for minor crimes punishable by a monetary penalty, a fine or a suspended prison term of maximum one year in Germany (6 months unsuspended in Switzerland). This project investigates the delicate balance between procedural economy and the risks of wrongful convictions when using penal orders to address low-level criminality.

Enescu, R. (2023). Wrongful Convictions in Summary Proceedings: a Comparison of Penal Orders in France, Germany and Switzerland. Monatsschrift für Kriminologie und Strafrechtsreform.

Enescu, R., Leszczynska, A. & Momsen, C. (2023). The Criminal Justice System in Germany. In J. M. Mbuba (Ed.), Comparative Criminal Justice: International Trends and Practices. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

Enescu, R., Niang, A. L. & Momsen C. (2022). Verteidigung in Strafbefehlsverfahren in Deutschland, Frankreich und der Schweiz, Kriminalpolitische Zeitschrift, vol. 1/2022, 20-35.

Enescu, R. (2021). Penal Orders for Misdemeanours and Felonies in France: A Procedural Economy at the Expense of the Defence?, International E-Journal of Criminal Sciences, vol. 16, 1-18.

Enescu, R. (2020). Penal orders and the role of prosecutors in Switzerland, Journal of Legal Studies, vol. 26(40), 125-141.

Enescu, R. (2019). Penal Orders and the Risk of Wrongful Convictions, Bergen Journal of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, vol. 7(2), 3-20.

Enescu, R. (2019). Die strafrechtliche Schuldfähigkeit von drei tauben Mördern in Preußen zwischen 1727 und 1828. In Marion Schmidt und Anja Werner, Hg., Zwischen Fremdbestimmung und Autonomie: Neue Impulse zur Gehörlosengeschichte in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz, Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 293-320.

Enescu, R. & Benker, L. (2018). The Birth of Criminalistics and the Transition from Lay to Expert Witnesses in German Courts, Journal on European History of Law, vol. 9, 59-66. 

Enescu, R. (2017). The Imperial Court of Justice, Police Authorities and Bertillon’s Measurements, Journal on European History of Law, vol. 8, 13-17.

Enescu, R. & Scheffer, T. (2017). Sentencing Hearings in English Crown Courts: Moralization in Criminal Trials, Revista Forumul Judecatorilor, reprint, 112-122.

Enescu, R. & Werner, A (2016). The Legal Capacity of Deaf Persons in the Decisions of the Imperial Court of Justice, Law, Crime, & History, vol. 2, 31-53.

Enescu, R. & Scheffer, T. (2014). Sentencing Hearings in English Crown Courts: Moralization in Criminal Trials, International Journal of Court Administration, vol. 6, 76-82.

Enescu, R. (2013). Conviction paradox and compensatory punishment in criminal trials, Jusletter, vol. 13/45.

Tabin, J.-P. & Enescu, R. (2012). The normative impact of unemployment insurance: A European perspective, Journal of Comparative Social Work, vol. 2, 1-11.

Tabin, J.-P. & Enescu, R. (2012). Assurance chômage, normativité et travail social: premières réflexions, Revue Suisse de Travail Social, vol. 12, 100-112.

Enescu, R. & Kuhn, A. (2012). Serial effects of evidence on legal decision-making, European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context, vol. 4, 99-118.

Enescu, R. & Kuhn, A. (2011). Influence des moyens de preuves et de la certitude du verdict sur le jugement pénal, Revue Internationale de Criminologie et de Police Technique et Scientifique, vol. 10, 267-280.

Enescu, R. (2010). Influence de l’ordre de présentation des preuves sur le choix d’un verdict, Jusletter, vol. 25, 1-6.

Enescu, R. (2009). Effets sériels et conflit cognitif dans l’administration des moyens de preuves et le choix d’un verdict pénal, Revue Suisse de Criminologie, vol. 8, 18-28.

Enescu, R. (2008). Influence de l’administration des preuves sur l’activité mentale menant à la formation du verdict au cours d’un procès pénal, Lausanne: Chabloz.

Enescu, R. & Kuhn, A. (2008). Influence de l’ordre de présentation des témoins sur le choix d’un verdict pénal, Revue Internationale de Criminologie et de Police Technique et Scientifique, vol. 61, 71-85.

Rossier J., Quartier V., Enescu R. & Iselin A. (2007). Validation of the French version of the Hierarchical Personality Inventory for Children (HiPIC): Influence of gender and age on personality traits from 8 to 12 years, European Journal of Psychological Assessment, vol. 23, 125-132.

Killias, M., Berruex, T. & Enescu, R. (1999). Die Anzeige bei der Polizei: Keine Frage des Zufalls, Crimiscope, vol. 3, Lausanne: Ecole des Sciences Criminelles.

Enescu, R. (1999). L'absence de dénonciation des agressions à caractère sexuel, Bulletin de Criminologie, vol. 25, 41-54.