Sharing of knowledge and discussions during conference organised by JPAO and Department of Criminal Law and Procedure
On 4 November 2022, the Conference ‘Modernisering Wetboek van Strafvordering’ was held at the KOG. The conference was organised by JPAO and the Department of Criminal Law and Procedure of the Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology.
The direct reason for organising the conference were the recent steps that have been taken to modernise the Dutch Code of Criminal Procedure, such as the recommendations of the Advisory Division of the Council of State regarding the draft legislative proposal. The possible consequences of the intended modernisation of the Code of Criminal Procedure were the central topic of the day.
Approximately 100 people participated in the conference, many hailing from the judiciary, the legal profession, the police service, and the Public Prosecution Service. The diversity of the participants made sure that the morning programme got off to a good start with interesting discussions and critical questions. During this morning programme the legislative proposal was addressed from various perspectives. Jannemieke Ouwerkerk discussed the meaning of the legislative proposal from the perspective of the Code, as well as in relation to European standards. Jan Crijns addressed the proposed Code from the perspective of truth finding. Both contributions also paid attention to the objectives of the criminal proceedings as well as the objectives of the modernisation track.
The afternoon programme consisted of two rounds of workshops. Participants could choose from four interactive workshops in which different speaker duos delved deeper into specific topics within the modernisation track: the initiating proceedings, witnesses and experts, digital investigations, and procedural defects. During the workshops there was plenty of room for interaction and discussion with the speakers and each other.
The constructive, open, and sometimes intense discussions resulted in a number of interesting insights and food for thought. It has become clear that both academia and practitioners will not be able to sit back and wait and that concrete steps need to be taken for a thorough preparation regarding the new Code. The Department Criminal Law and Procedure is planning to fulfil a role in this, for instance in the form of post-academic education.