Central Netherlands District Court to hear cases against police officers

The Central Netherlands District Court is gaining exclusive jurisdiction to hear cases in which police officers must appear in court to justify their use of violence. This decision was expressed in an amendment to the legislative proposal Geweldsaanwending opsporingsambtenaar [Use of violence by investigating officers], submitted to the Lower House of Parliament by Minister Grapperhaus (Justice and Security). The decision follows from the coalition agreement.

According to Grapperhaus, such matters require specific expertise, as decisions on whether or not to use violence are virtually always taken in a complex situational context. Furthermore, the police officer involved often has little time to decide. As a result, it is vital that the actions of police officers are reviewed afterwards by a judge who not only possesses solid knowledge of the regulations and conditions under which investigating officers may use violence, but who also has vast experience in evaluating such use of force as well.

Concentrating these cases at a single court will add considerable value, as it allows for the accrual of specialist knowledge in one location. The new situation will also improve the court's ability to make targeted investments in education within this area.