Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

EUREX: European Registry of Exonerations to learn from miscarriages of justice

The European Registry of Exonerations database provides an overview of miscarriages of justice in Europe with a view to preventing future errors.

Linda Geven
Funding LUF and SWOL: University Fund Limburg Funding LUF and SWOL: University Fund Limburg

Miscarriages of justice – cases where citizens are wrongfully convicted for crimes they didn’t commit –  have a devastating effect on the innocent individuals and their families, send shock waves through society and undermine confidence in the legal system.

Cases also regularly occur in Europe, where innocent citizens are sometimes wrongfully imprisoned for years. One recent example of a miscarriage of justice in the Netherlands is the Rosmalen case where the suspect was wrongfully imprisoned for over 14 years.


The EUREX database is a first, important initiative by researchers to establish an overview of miscarriages of justice in Europe. Its purpose is to identify, using systematic methods, the contributing factors that lead to people being wrongfully convicted.


The database currently includes 115 individual cases. It can be searched using a person’s name and in some cases it already contains data on the case, such as type of crime, length of prison sentence and the course of the proceedings. It also contains information on causes behind the wrongful conviction; often a false confession, incorrect eyewitness statement or the wrong (re)assessment of forensic evidence. Over time, the researchers hope to expand the database with more data.

The legal psychologists Linda Geven (Leiden University), Teresa Schneider (Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art en Phillips-Universität Marbure) en Jenny Schell-Leugers (Maastricht University)


EUREX was established by legal psychologists from the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland: Dr Linda Geven of Leiden University, Dr Jenny Schell-Leugers of Maastricht University and Dr Teresa Schneider.

Four universities are involved in this multicentric research project: Leiden University, Maastricht University, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Phillips-Universität Marburg.


If you would like more information on the launch of the database or have other questions on EUREX, please mail nieuws@leidenuniv or info@registryofexonerations.eu 


The project researchers would like to hear about other miscarriages of justice and add more background information to the cases already entered in the database. By expanding the database, they hope to keep miscarriages of justice high on the public agenda.

To do this, they need €15.000. If you care about this project, a donation can be made using Leiden University’s crowdfunding page. Geven, Schell-Leugers and Schneider: ‘Every person who is wrongfully convicted is one too many. With the financial support, we can keep working on collecting cases of exonerated individuals to raise awareness about the causes and consequences. We hope this can eventually help to prevent wrongful convictions in the future.’

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