The Institute Criminal Law -Criminology Leiden Law School presents research report Dutch practice of pre-trial detention
The practice of the application of pre-trial detention in the Netherlands raises questions in light of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and must be adjusted.
The practice of the application of pre-trial detention in the Netherlands raises questions in light of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and must be adjusted; this conclusion is drawn by researchers Jan Crijns, Bas Leeuw and Hilde Wermink of the Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology of Leiden Law School after having completed a research project on the practice of pre-trial detention in the Netherlands.
The Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology has been part of a broad European research project on the application of pre-trial detention in ten member states of the European Union. This research – which is being financed by the European Commission – is coordinated by the British NGO Fair Trials. Goal of the research project is collecting information on the legal framework on pre-trial detention and its application in practice in the ten member states; this in order to inform the debate on the European level on the necessity of EU-legislation in this field. The final report of this overarching research project will be presented at a meeting at the European Parliament at the end of May, however the Dutch report is now being made public.
The research findings are based on questionnaires filled in by defence lawyers, observing pre-trial detention hearings, reviewing case files of closed cases and interviews with judges and prosecutors.
The main conclusion of the Dutch research is that the Dutch legislation on pre-trial detention generally is in conformity with European standards. However, the practice of applying pre-trial detention falls somewhat short of these standards; especially the high percentage of pre-trial detention being ordered, the limited reasoning of decisions and the infrequent use of alternatives to pre-trial detention are noteworthy. The researchers make a couple of recommendations to the legislator, the judiciary and the prosecution service in order to bring Dutch practice more in line with the European standards.
The Dutch report will soon be published by Boom Juridische uitgevers, but is already available in digital form. Click here for the report.
Click here for more information on the overarching research project.