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Jaar 2014 x Rubriek Article x

    Since 2005, Dutch victims of serious crime have the right to make an oral statement in court (‘spreekrecht’). In the past decade, the Dutch criminal justice system has accommodated this right to make an oral statement with regard to the consequences of the crime; no major problems have occurred. Indeed, only a minority of the victims consumes this right (ca. 230 cases annually), the majority prefers to lodge a written statement. Nevertheless, the Dutch legislature is of the opinion that the right to make an oral statement should be extended and has lodged a draft-proposal recently. The aim is to provide crime victims a right to put forward an advice to the judge at the trial session, such an advice relating to the full scheme of judicial decision-making (truth, legal qualification, punishment). Such a provision resembles a Victim Statement of Opinion, used in the American scheme of justice, and even exceeds this. The draft has been met with criticism, only the Dutch Victim Support is in favor. One of the objections heard is the one dimensional focus underlying the draft: by focusing on a specific group of victims – those who have suffered from serious crimes – the legislature neglects the heterogeneous nature of victims’ needs.


Renée Kool
Renée Kool is als universitair hoofddocent verbonden aan Ucall en het Montaigne-Instituut, Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit Utrecht en redacteur van dit blad.
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