You may have been the victim of a crime abroad. This often means dealing with a foreign judicial system, including contact with the local police. This can lead to additional problems, such as cases of corruption. This makes the situation even more difficult for the victim.
Our firm has extensive experience with cross-border cases. In principle the decision to investigate will lie with the foreign investigating agencies. This means that it may be necessary to apply pressure from the Netherlands in order to ensure that the case is dealt with expeditiously and more effectively. In some cases it is also possible to ask the Dutch public prosecutor’s office to prosecute the case in the Netherlands. This will often have to be done on the basis of a separate criminal complaint. Here too, the assistance of an attorney can make an important difference.
Dutch citizens may commit crimes abroad, leaving victims in the country where the crime was committed. Examples include sex tourism or committing a murder abroad. In those cases, it is still possible to prosecute the Dutch suspect in the Netherlands. Sometimes, there are additional requirements for prosecution, for example that the suspect’s actions are considered a crime in both the Netherlands and the foreign country concerned.
Our firm has extensive experience with cross-border cases. Our attorneys regularly act for foreign victims of Dutch suspects. Hence we help victims of sex tourism and the production of child pornography. Our firm also acts for victims of serious war crimes and breaches of human rights both in the Dutch courts and before international tribunals.
Victims can join the proceedings as injured parties and file a claim for compensation. In the tragic event a victim dies as a result of the crime, the surviving dependants can also join the criminal proceedings as an injured parties.
Our firm has extensive experience in the area of providing legal assistance to victims. We do so in a wide range of criminal law cases, such as domestic abuse, human trafficking as well as serious assault- and sex crimes.
Victims can also apply for compensation through the civil courts. This can be done in conjunction with or following the end of a criminal prosecution.
Law enforcement does not always act correctly. For example they may be careless with your information, or take much too long to deal with your case. Sometimes they breach the law themselves, for example if the police uses excessive force against you. It can also happen that public authorities (such as the police, but also the General Intelligence and Security Service (Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst, or ‘AIVD’)) may exceed its powers and thereby breach citizens’ fundamental rights.
It is possible to submit a complaint about this. In certain cases it is also possible to hold the authorities concerned liable in a civil case. In exceptional circumstances it is possible to file a criminal complaint against the officials concerned.
Sometimes the police or the public prosecutor’s office decide not to proceed at all on the basis of a criminal complaint at all in which case no criminal investigation is conducted. Alternately they can also conduct an investigation only to conclude that they will not investigate further or prosecute any suspects. It is possible to object to this. This is done through so-called ‘article 12 proceedings’ by filing a written complaint against the decision by the public prosecutor’s office not to pursue the case with the appeals court. If the appeals court agrees with you, it will order the public prosecutor’s office to pursue the case.
You may be the victim of a crime yourself. You can report this to the police. In complex or sensitive cases it may be helpful to seek the assistance of an attorney when filing a criminal complaint. In that event, we can draft the complaint for you and explain the legal ins and outs to you. We can also assist you during police interviews, since the police will want to interview you themselves if they pick up the complaint.