Departments and Institutions
The Ministry of Justice and Security consists of different branches, each of which has its own duties.
A properly functioning judiciary has the trust of a country’s citizens and is an important condition for the operation of the constitutional state.
Under the Judiciary fall the Council for the Judiciary, all nineteen district courts, the five courts of appeal and other special appeals tribunals and the Dutch Supreme Court. The Netherlands is divided into nineteen districts and five regions over which the respective courts of appeal have jurisdiction. Each district has one district court. A district court has a maximum of five sectors, which always include the sectors of administrative law, civil law, criminal law and sub-district law. Each appellate region has one court of appeals where, in principle, cases from the district courts are heard on appeal. There are also special appeals tribunals for specific appeals cases.
The Supreme Court is the highest court within the common judiciary in the Netherlands. The most important task of the Supreme Court is to hear appeals in cassation in the fields of civil law, criminal law and tax law.
Public Prosecution Service (OM)
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) is a part of the judiciary and the only body in the Netherlands that can prosecute in criminal cases. In cooperation with the police and other investigation services, the Public Prosecution Service ensures that criminal offences are detected and prosecuted. Another important task is exercising oversight on the execution of sentences. In short, the Public Prosecution Service is responsible for enforcing the rule of law in criminal cases.
National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security
New York, Madrid, London: a terrorist attack can claim thousands of victims and disrupt entire societies. Unfortunately, the Netherlands is also vulnerable to such attacks. The increasing threat of them requires increasingly close collaboration between the many regional and national counterterrorism bodies. To improve and coordinate this cooperation, a National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) has been appointed.
The NCTV and his staff fall within the responsibility of the Minister of Justice and Security.
The Central Policy and Staff Department
The Central Policy and Staff Department supports the Ministry of Justice and Security in the areas of security, drug policy, crime and juvenile delinquency, legislation and enforcement. The focus is on making policy in both national and international areas. The Central Policy and Staff Department has more than 2,000 employees and is established at different locations in The Hague.
Custodial Institutions Agency (DJI)
The penitentiary institutions in the Netherlands fall under the Custodial Institutions Agency (DJI). This agency is also responsible for the custodial institutions for youth and forensic psychiatric treatment (TBS) clinics. The DJI contributes to bringing about a safer society by carrying out imprisonment sanctions and detention measures. In this respect it is important for detainees to be given the chance to build an acceptable existence for themselves. The head office of the DJI is located in The Hague. Approximately 18,000 employees work at more than 100 locations in the country.
Central Fine Collection Agency (CJIB)
The Central Fine Collection Agency (CJIB) strives to carry out sanctions fairly, effectively and efficiently. The activities of the CJIB can be summarised in three ‘cornerstone’ areas: collection, coordination and information provision. The CJIB is most known for the collection of traffic fines (some twelve million a year). Yet the organisation also collects damage compensation payments, punitive fines, on-the-spot fines and administrative fines; it also orders confiscation measures. In addition, the CJIB collects non-punitive (non-penal) monetary claims for other government bodies.
The organisation has coordination tasks in the areas of community service, imprisonment and arrest warrants as well. In addition, the CJIB provides other justice branches with relevant (management) information. More than 950 people work at the three locations in Leeuwarden.
Child Care and Protection Agency
The Child Care and Protection Agency guards the rights of children whose development and welfare are under threat. Via investigation, legal advice and suitable measures, the Agency seeks to prevent or remove this threat. The Agency works closely with other agencies, such as the institutions for youth services, the police, the public prosecution service, the judiciary, youth rehabilitation centres and schools. The National Office and the National Executive of the Agency are located in Utrecht. The Agency has approximately 2,500 employees and 22 locations spread throughout the country.
Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI)
The Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) contributes to uncovering the truth in criminal cases by conducting independent forensic research. The clients of the NFI include the courts, the public prosecution service, the police and other organisations that are focused on detecting criminal offences. The NFI is established in The Hague district of Ypenburg; there more than 400 employees handle more than 30,000 applications annually.
The Justis Department (Judicial agency for Testing, Integrity and Screening) is the screening authority in the area of integrity for the Ministry of Justice and Security.
What does the Justis Department do?
Integrity is a standard by which the reliability and quality of people’s and organisations’ performance is assessed. The Justis Department assesses whether people have a prior history that hinders them from performing a particular profession or job. The Justis Department also assesses whether parties applying for certain declarations, permits and subsidies meet integrity requirements. This screening for reliability reduces the risks to security and thus contributes to a more honest and safe society. The Justis Department also carries out the regulations governing legal name changes and pardons.
Inspectorate of Security and Justice
The Inspectorate of Security and Justice monitors organisations on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and Security. The Inspectorate examines if organisations in the security and justice domain carry out their work correctly. The Inspectorate makes suggestions for improvement to the Minister and to the public administrations involved, identifies risks and contributes to the learning ability of organisations. The Inspectorate thus contributes to a safe society.
The police are there to protect, restrict and empower. By demand or at its own initiative. It upholds the rule of law in The Netherlands and offers primary assistance to those who are in need of help. The Netherlands police provides its services indiscriminately to over 17 million inhabitants and all those who visit our country. It does so by performing a wide variety of tasks to maintain order and safety in our public domain and infrastructure, combat crime, counter terror and respond to emergencies and crises.
The Netherlands police is everyone’s police. Regardless where or how people are born. Community policing to us means we personally know and are being known. We are not just visible in bad times. The Netherlands police now consists of ten regional units, one central unit, a police services centre and the commissioner’s staff. With 63.000 employees the police is the largest employer in The Netherlands.
The fire brigade is best known for putting out fires. But the organisation actually does much more than that. The fire brigade also plays a coordinating role in emergency management and crisis management. And they provide advice on the prevention of situations that entail a fire hazard. In cooperation with other relief organisations, the fire brigade works to keep you safe.
Research and Documentation Centre (WODC)
The Research and Documentation Centre conducts research (or has it conducted), advises on the consequences of research findings for policy, and collects and disseminates knowledge. The WODC also organises symposia and guest lectures. The centre publishes reports, book series and journals as well.