The law is an ass, or rather the people that administer the law can sometimes be asses. This certainly applies to the Dutch legal system which was today due to release six suspects from custody because the judge who put them there technically wasn’t yet a judge.

Thus freedom for the suspects while they await trial. Not a disaster if those involved had been charged with minor offences. But they include an alleged rapist and a woman charged with strangling her partner.
The reason the judge had not been sworn in was a classic case of sloppy miscommunication. Each of the two people involved had presumed the other had arranged the swearing in without bothering to pick up the phone and check. And why the judge didn’t open her mouth and say something is a mystery.
To make things worse, the public prosecutor could have intervened and kept the suspects in prison if this had been done within 24 hours of the mistake coming to light. But guess what, the prosecutor didn’t act fast enough.
It’s shocking that the people in charge of this process have not been reprimanded. It is also ridiculous that there are no emergency measures available in this sort of situation. We’ll have to wait and see how many of the suspects turn up for trial and what they get up to in the meantime.

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