Saturday 22 January 2022

New sex crimes legislation will boost court cases, convictions


New legislation covering sex crimes will result in a surge of cases, justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus has told the Telegraaf in an interview.

The new legislation will categorise all forms of non-consensual sex as rape, making it more likely that victims will report cases of unacceptable sexual behaviour, the minister told the paper.

While the use of force and violence may merit tougher sentencing, if free will is not involved, then it is rape, Grapperhaus said. In current Dutch law, rape is only rape if force or violence can be proven in court.

‘We have carefully trained judges who can decide if free will was involved or not,’ the minister said.

Police estimate the draft legislation could lead to an extra 550 rape reports a year, and 360 additional ‘informational talks’ with victims. ‘Ultimately, I think we are going to see more convictions, because the norms are being sharpened up,’ the minister said.

The aim is to ensure the new legislation comes into effect in two years time. The draft bill has now been sent to the Council of State for its assessment and will be presented to parliament next spring.

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