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NEWS

Short Update: Challenges to the right to a fair trial in the Netherlands

FairTrialsAdmin - May 14, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Access to a lawyer, Remote Justice

For the chairman of the Dutch Association of Criminal Lawyers and a board member of the Dutch Bar Association, the current measures undermine the right to a fair trial. Both lawyers notably report the lack of appropriate safety arrangements for lawyer to assist suspects during their first interrogation at the police station, forcing lawyers to choose between the right to health and the right to legal assistance. Due to shortage of video connections, suspects are only entitled to attend their hearing for 45 minutes to an hour, meaning that they cannot listen to the plea of the Public Prosecutor or their own lawyer. The same time limitation applies to victims. The lawyers also stress the importance of personal contact in criminal cases, both for the judge and the suspect. 

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