Overview of acts that will enter into effect on 1 April 2012

Conditional sanctions

The courts will be able to offer more custom solutions when imposing conditional punishments and the Public Prosecution Service will be able to arrest and detain convicted persons immediately if they fail to comply with the special conditions attached to their punishment. A condition specified in the judgment gives both the convicted person and the probation and aftercare services clarity concerning the condition that has to be complied with and what obligations arise from this condition. This concerns, for example, attending behavioural therapy and undergoing (outpatient) treatment, but special conditions that restrict movement or freedom, such as exclusion orders, orders prohibiting contact, obligations to report or alcohol bans, are also possible.

DNA relationship testing

DNA relationship testing can be applied in the approach to crime. This concerns a new type of analysis that can demonstrate whether a blood relative of the persons, whose DNA has been analysed by the police and the judicial authorities, possibly committed a crime. In practice, there is an urgent need for applying DNA relationship testing. As the DNA profiles of blood relatives match to a certain extent, a comparison between the DNA profile of a known person and a DNA profile from a trace from an unsolved crime may demonstrate whether the trace originated from a blood relative of that person. This could yield useful information during the investigation.

Exclusion orders or orders prohibiting contact imposed by the courts

A new sanction possibility has been made available to the courts since 1 April 2012. The courts are able to impose exclusion orders, orders prohibiting contact or an obligation to report as part of its judgment in cases in which it considers that such a targeted restriction of freedom is desirable. This measure will make it possible to prevent defendants from reoffending or from misbehaving towards certain persons. The convicted person will be detained if he does not comply with the measure. This measure also contributes to the effective administration of justice and efficient criminal law. And it consequently contributes to the safety of the Netherlands.

European exchange of criminal records

The realisation of the European Criminal Record Information System (ECRIS) makes it possible to exchange criminal records electronically between the Member States. The system ensures that Member States always have a complete overview of the criminal offences committed by their citizens within Europe. The faster exchange of information makes it possible take account in criminal cases of relevant convictions in other countries.

Details can also be requested for other purposes. For example, with respect to the assessment of an application for a Certificate of Good Behaviour (VOG) submitted by citizens from other Member States. In doing so, ECRIS contributes to the fact that someone who has been convicted of a sexual offence against children cannot start working with children again in another Member State.

International crimes

The Netherlands is able to prosecute and convict suspects of old genocide cases. It will also become possible to extradite suspects of genocide and war crimes during a non-armed conflict and to take over the criminal proceedings of an international court. This is done by expanding the International Crime Act (Wim) and to apply retroactive effect to the ample jurisdiction as regards genocide to 24 October 1970, which is the date on which the Genocide Convention (Implementation) Act entered into effect. The measure supports the Public Prosecution Service and the international crime team of the National Police Services Agency (KLPD), because they will often be involved in old genocide cases in the years to come. The position in criminal proceedings of victims of international crime will also be strengthened. The amount of the claims for compensation that victims can submit as injured parties will no longer be subject to a maximum and surviving relatives of victims of international crime can join the proceedings as injured parties.

More in news

Responsible ministry