More people found not guilty in Dutch courts

justice courts legal systemJust over 10% of Dutch court cases result in the defendant being found ‘not guilty’, according to new research by national statistics office CBS.

In 1995, just 4% of cases resulted in the charges being dismissed but the rate has been rising since then,  the CBS said.

Legal experts say the public prosecution department should be extremely concerned about the rise in the dismissal rate.

‘You can draw one conclusion: judges are more likely to think the department has not proved its case,’ professor Peter van Koppen told the AD. ‘That is a serious matter. If 10% of the cars that roll off a manufacturing line are faulty, you would lose your job within a month.’

Professor Nico Kwakman told the newspaper spending cuts at the public prosecution service and the reorganisation of the national police force may have played a part.

The department is set to realise savings of €143m by 2018 and 800 jobs will go.

Last week, the criminal lawyers’ association warned the cuts are resulting in ‘incomplete files, mistakes and overstretched public prosectors’, the AD points out.

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