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  4. Fair trial rights in the Netherlands: European influence versus national (constitutional) law




Fair trial rights in the Netherlands: European influence versus national (constitutional) law



Staff, Students, Academics

Speaker: Dr B J G Leeuw - University of Leiden

Series: Crime and Justice research seminars

The European legal order has had a tremendous impact on the national criminal justice systems throughout Europe; this is especially true for the Netherlands. One of the most influential conventions in this respect is the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The Convention has led to several substantial changes within the Dutch criminal justice system. The impact of the Convention has not always resulted in a harmonious relationship between the national criminal justice system and the ECHR and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Because of the weak position of constitutional rights in the Netherlands there is a great reliance on the ECHR. Besides the influence of the ECHR there is an ever-growing impact of European Union law on the national legal order.

The question that is discussed in this paper is whether this strong reliance on the ECHR and the growing impact of European Union Law leads to a successful and effective realization of the right to a fair trial in the Netherlands, or whether a more robust (constitutional) legal framework on the national level is necessary to better guarantee the right to a fair trial in the Netherlands and to have a better relationship between the national and the European legal order.

Experiences in other countries can serve as examples on how to deal with the interaction between national legal systems and international fundamental rights norms. Many of the problems encountered with regard to the influence of the ECHR that are seen in the Netherlands, are also experienced in other countries. In the United Kingdom for instance there has been an intense debate about the countries relationship with the ECtHR and the incorporation of the ECHR via the Human Rights Act. Also in the UK the question has been asked whether constitutionalizing fundamental rights on the national level, in the form of a UK Bill of Rights, can guarantee a better relationship between the national (criminal) legal system and the international legal order.

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When and where

1.00pm - 3.00pmWednesday 25th June 2014

AG02 College Building City, University of London St John Street London EC1V 4PB United Kingdom

Contact Details

Dr Riccardo Montana

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom
020 7040 8305