Hundreds of court cases dropped in Gelderland because of staff shortages
The public prosecution department is dropping hundreds of court cases in Gelderland because there are not enough judges to deal with them.
The Oost-Nederland division described the measure as ‘drastic’ but said it is essential to cut back on the number of cases waiting to be dealt with. The backlog which built up during the coronavirus period and increasing complexity of cases are also having an impact, the department said.
The cases which are being dropped are all at least 18 months old and involve crimes with a maximum jail term of one year, including petty theft, traffic offences or the possession of cannabis.
In total, some 1,500 cases will either be dropped or settled with a fine or community service.
Although the courts are struggling to deal with their case loads in other parts of the country, no other department is considering such steps.
‘We need our judges to deal with other cases such as divorce, or supervision orders and labour conflicts, so that people can get on with their lives,’ Gelderland court president Rémy van Leest said.
The department and the court said that they regretted the pain that the decision would cause to the victims of crime. They will be able to appeal.
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