Dutch judges too quick to remand suspects into custody: Human Rights watchdog
Dutch judges are too quick to remand suspects into custody, according to a study by the College for Human Rights. They do not look at arguments to remand suspects to custody critically enough and the reasons for doing so are often insufficient, the College concluded, ANP reports.
The College for Human Rights is an independent watchdog for human rights in the Netherlands. For this study the College looked at over a hundred cases in six different courts. In four out of six cases, the reason for remanding a suspect into custody was insufficient.
At one court the process for remanding a suspect into custody consists of a form in which you tick the appropriate boxes. At another it is a form with standard texts in which you rule out the inappropriate statements. There is no room for arguments in either form.
The College wants the courts to better explain custody due to social impact. According to the watchdog, remand imposed improperly can lead to the loss of employment or benefits and can even cause problems with housing or school. The European Convention of Human Rights states that a suspect is allowed to await his trial in freedom, unless this is impossible. "In the Dutch practice, it seems to be the opposite, namely 'in custody, unless'." the College concludes.
According to the College, judges should give less dramatic measures - such as an ankle monitor, an obligation to undergo treatment or a contact ban - more consideration.