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Artikel

Het aanzien van de Staat

Over de praktijk van tenuitvoerlegging van de levenslange straf

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 2 2013
Trefwoorden life imprisonment the Netherlands, effects of life imprisonment, reintegration, pardon policy, pardon cases
Auteurs W.F. van Hattum
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 1870 in the Netherlands the death penalty was replaced by the sanction nearest to that effect: lifelong imprisonment. For the government though this penalty was acceptable only in connection with the possibility of mercy. The sanction was to be executed humanely and should not result in torture. The way the sanction was executed since, the administration developed a policy of mercy taking into account the devastating effects of the sanction. This policy resulted in mental care for the convicted and his release after approximately twenty years imprisonment. More than hundred years later, about 2004, the policy of mercy changed. Since then, according to the responsible ministers, life imprisonment should end by the onset of death. In this article the practice under the old and the new policy is illustrated by a case study. The conclusion is that like the death penalty lifelong imprisonment corrodes the prestige of the State.


W.F. van Hattum
Mr. dr. Wiene van Hattum is universitair docent bij de Vakgroep Strafrecht en Criminologie van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en voorzitter van het in 2008 opgerichte Forum Levenslang.
Artikel

De levenslange vrijheidsstraf internationaal vergeleken

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 2 2013
Trefwoorden life sentences, whole life imprisonment, human rights, European Court of Human Rights, release prospect
Auteurs D. van Zyl Smit
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Life imprisonment is difficult to define. Sentences that are not called life imprisonment may also be indefinite sentences of detention which may result in the detention of offenders in prison until they die there. Even where a sentence is called ‘life imprisonment’ it may be difficult to ascertain for how long the offender will actually be held and what criteria will be applied to considering his eventual release. This paper sketches some recent developments in respect of indeterminate sentences that are not called life imprisonment, even though they amount to it in practice. It then turns to the question of life sentences that are imposed without provision for any fixed period after which they should be reconsidered. Questions are raised about the extent to which such sentences are acceptable in Europe, the United States and elsewhere, particularly in instances where at sentence there is an indication that the offenders may not be considered for release at all. It is argued that human rights law is moving towards requiring that all persons sentenced to life imprisonment should have a reasonable prospect of release. Given the widespread support for life imprisonment this paper seeks to raise some human rights concerns that arise with the use of this sentence. The concerns are essentially twofold. First, the sentence may be imposed in instances where it would be disproportionate punishment to do so. Secondly, the procedures for its implementation, in particular those that relate to the potential release of persons serving life sentences, may not be adequate to meet the requirement of a realistic prospect of release.


D. van Zyl Smit
Prof. Dirk van Zyl Smit is als hoogleraar vergelijkend internationaal en penitentiair recht verbonden aan de University of Nottingham.
Artikel

Levenslange gevangenisstraf: uitlevering en overlevering aan Nederland

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 2 2013
Trefwoorden life imprisonment the Netherlands, extradition, surrender, human rights, European Court of Human Rights
Auteurs V.H. Glerum
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In principle a Dutch life sentence is served in full. ‘Lifers’ can benefit from executive clemency. However, over the last 26 years clemency has been applied so sparingly as to call into question whether clemency for ‘lifers’ is a real possibility at all. Recently the European Court of Human Rights has refined its case-law on the compatibility of life sentences with Art. 3 ECHR, in the national context as well as in the context of extradition. This contribution discusses whether under Article 3 ECHR the Dutch practice of executing life sentences in full acts as a bar to extradition or surrender of a person who faces the imposition and/or execution of a life sentence in the Netherlands.


V.H. Glerum
Mr. dr. Vincent Glerum is senior juridisch medewerker van de Internationale Rechtshulpkamer van de Rechtbank Amsterdam.
Artikel

Het advies van de rechter in de gratieprocedure levenslanggestraften

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 2 2013
Trefwoorden life imprisonment the Netherlands, history of life imprisonment, pardon procedure, judicial advisement, pardon cases
Auteurs D.J.G.J. Cornelissen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article provides an overview of the development of the prerogative of mercy. From the outset, the king (now: the Crown) is empowered with this prerogative and the judiciary is appointed as an advisory institution. The author focused on this judicial advisement in the procedure of pardon. First the different competent advisory courts are outlined. Initially, the highest court of justice was the only competent advisory body. For practical reasons the task was eventually shifted to the judge who imposed the sentence. Secondly, the impact and meaning of the advice are valued by researching sixteen pardon cases. In approximately half of the cases the judicial advisement was acknowledged by the Crown. In six of the sixteen studied pardon cases the Crown deviated from the judicial advisement in favour of the convict. According to the author, these deviations are in line with the policy of pardon of the last century.


D.J.G.J. Cornelissen
Mr. Daan Cornelissen is senior secretaris bij het Ressortsparket, vestiging Arnhem-Leeuwarden, locatie Leeuwarden.
Artikel

Perspectief voor levenslanggestraften?

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 2 2013
Trefwoorden life imprisonment the Netherlands, High Court jurisprudence, parole procedures, reducing life sentences, judicial verdict
Auteurs T. de Bont en S. Meijer
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article focuses on the ‘de iure’ and ‘de facto’ possibilities in Dutch penal law to reduce a life sentence. The question is whether the current legal framework offers sufficient perspective to life prisoners as required by the European Court of Human Rights. It also addresses the disadvantages of the current procedures. The authors argue that it is desirable that a legal possibility for release on probation of life prisoners is introduced in the Netherlands. They will set out a bill written by the NGO ‘Forum Levenslang’ that would make this possible.


T. de Bont
Mr. Tim de Bont is als advocaat werkzaam bij Cleerdin & Hamer Advocaten.

S. Meijer
Mr. dr. Sonja Meijer is universitair docent straf(proces)recht aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Titel

De koers van het Nederlandse gevangeniswezen sinds de Tweede Wereldoorlog

Tijdschrift Justitiële verkenningen, Aflevering 04 2007
Trefwoorden Gedetineerde, Executie, Delinquent, Huis van bewaring, Minister van justitie, Personeel, Aanbeveling, Rechtspositie, Reclassering, Aansprakelijkheid
Auteurs Jonge, G. de

Jonge, G. de
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