Alternative to provisional detention for EU citizens

On 1 November 2013 new rules were introduced concerning EU citizens remanded in custody in another EU country. Under the new rules it will be possible for citizens of EU member states to await trial in their home country, so that they can continue working, for example.

Suspending provisional detention

A court may decide that a suspect/defendant need not be held in custody pending trial and may release that person under certain conditions. Conditional release effectively constitutes the suspension of provisional detention. In such cases, the conditions are referred to as non-custodial supervision measures. If the person fails to comply with the supervision measures, provisional detention may be ordered pending trial.

Transfer of supervision measures

When provisional detention is suspended, the supervision measures are transferred to the EU member state in which the person is resident. That member state then monitors compliance with the supervision measures. This serves to improve the protection of victims and of the general public. Anyone who fails to comply with the supervision measures may be placed in detention in the member state where the criminal proceedings are taking place.

Amendment of Dutch legislation

Each member state is adapting its legislation to facilitate agreements with the other member states. In the Netherlands, the agreements are laid down in the Act on Mutual Recognition of Decisions on Supervision Measures as an Alternative to Provisional Detention (Bulletin of Acts and Decrees 2013, 250).

Under the act, the following rules apply:

  • The member state in which the person is resident assumes responsibility for monitoring the supervision measures imposed by a court. The executing state may in no way alter the supervision measures imposed as an alternative to provisional detention. However, implementation of the supervision measures in the executing state must be feasible.
  • A suspect/defendant may request the court to impose supervision measures and transfer responsibility for monitoring them, and may do so with the assistance of counsel. If the court grants the request, the suspect/defendant is then responsible for arranging return to his country of residence.