New law for more effective implementation of sanctions comes into effect

In order to ensure that perpetrators have served out their prison sentence, carried out their community service or paid their fine, the implementation of sanctions needs to be well organised. A faster and more effective implementation of sanctions removes difficulties in practice. The law aimed at facilitating this, introduced by Minister Dekker (for Legal Protection), will come into effect on 1 January 2020.

In order to ensure that perpetrators have served out their prison sentence, carried out their community service or paid their fine, the implementation of sanctions needs to be well organised. A faster and more effective implementation of sanctions removes difficulties in practice. The law aimed at facilitating this, introduced by Minister Dekker (for Legal Protection), will come into effect on 1 January 2020.
 
Sometimes, too much time elapses between the judgment of the court and the implementation of the sanction. Dekker comments: ‘Society relies on sanctions being implemented in good time and in full. This is why effective sanctions are an important element of our legal system.’ The period of time can be shortened by, for instance, summoning convicted persons to serve their sentence sooner or commencing probation supervision more promptly. Moreover, a response should not take too long if, for instance, a convicted person has been given a suspended sentence but does not keep to the conditions set.
 
Good cooperation is required between all partners involved in sanctions implementation in such cases in particular. This is why parties such as the police, the prison system and the probation service need to be provided with all requisite information in good time to allow them to work effectively. In addition, municipalities, victims and relatives must be properly informed about the convicted person and the implementation of their sanction.
 
In order to promote cooperation within the chain, the management of sanctions implementation will become the responsibility of the Minister instead of the Public Prosecution Service (OM). This will give the Minister greater insight into implementation. It will also allow the OM to focus more on its core tasks, namely the investigation and prosecution of crimes.
 
In the new set-up, the OM will send all judicial decisions in criminal matters requiring implementation to the Administrative Information Centre for the Execution of Judgements (AICE), which will handle the administrative logistics on behalf of the Minister. The AICE is part of the Central Fine Collection Agency (CJIB) in Leeuwarden.

Moreover, the new law is an important part of the ongoing modernisation of the Dutch Criminal Code intended to produce a new criminal code that contains simpler rules, is more in line with our digital society and is more accessible to both legal practitioners and citizens.