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De uiterlijke verschijningsvorm in het strafrecht

On 25 November 2020, Sara Arendse defended her thesis 'De uiterlijke verschijningsvorm in het strafrecht'. The doctoral research was supervised by prof. C.P.M. Cleiren and prof. J.M. ten Voorde.

Sara Arendse
25 November 2020
Leiden Repository

First introduced in the legal literature, the concept of 'outward appearance' (uiterlijke verschijningsvorm) was recognized by the Supreme Court in 1978. Both in legal literature and in case law, the concept was initially developed within the framework of the doctrine of punishable attempt (regulated in article 45 of the Dutch Criminal Code (DCC)). From 2003 onwards, the concept was transferred to the context of other doctrines, such as those relating to ‘conditional intent’/dolus eventualis (voorwaardelijk opzet) (which has no statutory regulation in the Netherlands), punishable preparatory acts (regulated in article 46 DCC) and self-defence (regulated in article 41 DCC).

As this concept is used in the context of doctrines which form the core of substantive criminal law, its use can have substantial consequences for the scope of criminal liability. But what is the concept of 'outward appearance' actually and what are these consequences? By analysing the case law of the Supreme Court this research tries to answer these questions. It shows that the concept is linked with the ‘finality doctrine’ (finale handelingsleer). At the same time, it becomes clear that the Supreme Court has nowhere fully embraced this doctrine.

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