Prof. Dr. Raluca Enescu | Associated Researcher

Dynamics and Experiences of Globalisation
Centre Marc Bloch, Friedrichstraße 191, D-10117 Berlin
Email: enescu  ( at ) Tel: +49(0) 30 / 20 93 70700 or 70707

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 from the University of Lausanne on a topic stemming from her interest in the choice of verdict in criminal courts. The Swiss Science Foundation funded a replication of her doctoral research at national level with all crimnal judges in Switzerland. 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.

She has been invited as a Guest Professor in forensic sciences, forensic psychiatry and criminology at the Humboldt University in Berlin during the winter semester 2016/2017 (cf. flyer above). Since 2015 she is associate editor for the Directory of Open Access Journals.


- Wrongful convictions


- Forensic sciences


- Verdict choice and sentence


- Probative value of witnesses





Wrongful convictions and trial de novo

Forensic knowledge in courts especially as evidence in criminal trials

Development of forensic sciences and of criminalistics at universities

Organisation of Events

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

Wrongful convictions in Germany and in France: a comparison of available sources, obstacles, and solutions

Recent developments in forensic methods shed light on the lack of validity of investigation techniques used for decades to ensure convictions, such as bite marks, fiber or hair analysis. These developments provided a strong incentive to the study of wrongful convictions and of their major causes. National registries of exonerations would allow a clear and comparable definition of wrongful convictions and of their numbers. The history of criminal law and of forensic science shows the evolution of this definition during last century. The registries could take into account the main characteristics of a judgment: conviction year, exoneration year, type of crime, factors leading to the conviction, factors leading to the exoneration, etc. Data analysis of the exonerations includes the socio-historical context in which they occurred and leads to the identification of the main causes of wrongful convictions. This project sheds light on the existing registries and also on the lack thereof. They are surprisingly not available in most of the European countries for reasons that are revealed by this project. Recommendations will be made to start a national registry of wrongful convictions in Germany and in France.


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.