Law Changes 2020: Justice, Security and Defense

Dutch police crime scene tape
Dutch police crime scene tapePhoto: Buurserstraat38/DepositPhotos

The Dutch government is implementing a large number of rules, regulations, and law changes at the stroke of midnight on January 1. Below is a summary of changes made in the category Justice, Security and Defense:

Revenge porn is a punishable offense in the Netherlands from next year. Those who distribute private sexual image material which could potentially harm the subject of the material, or when distributed as a from of retaliation, can face a maximum prison sentence of 2 years.

From January 1st, women in the Netherlands can also be conscripted. Next year all 17-year-old girls will receive a letter about compulsory military service. In practice, little will change. While mandatory military service still exists on paper in the Netherlands, the Ministry of Defense has not called for a new draft since 1996.

A new law being implemented on January 1st makes class action lawsuits possible in the Netherlands. Through the courts, representative interest groups can claim monetary compensation on behalf of a collective. If no settlement can be reached, the court itself can determine the collective claim settlement. 

The legal position of civil servants and public education teachers is changing. As of January 1st, civil servants will have the same rights as employees in the business world wherever possible, with the exception of police, Defense, and judiciary employees. More information here. The legal position of employees in public education will be adjusted to be aligned with that of employees in special education. More information here. 

The maximum punishment for serious traffic offenses is increasing next year. The maximum punishment for dangerous driving is increasing from 2 to 6 months, even in cases without injury or damage. Drivers convicted of causing a serious accident due to reckless driving will face up to 6 years in prison.

Next year Netherlands citizens can choose whether they want to receive communications from the Tax Authority by post or digitally.