The Council for the Administration of Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles is an independent body established by law. The Council has two tasks: giving advice and administering justice.
The Council consists of about 75 members or deputy members, including experts on penitentiary law, juvenile and family law, behavioural scientists, members of the judiciary and the legal profession and medical experts. The Council is supported by a secretariat which handles issues regarding content as well as administrative matters.
The Council gives advice, in the form of recommendations, to the Minister and the State Secretary of Security and Justice and the State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport. Recommendations concern issues in the areas of the prison system, the forensic care system and youth protection. The Council gives this advice on its own initiative as well as on request.
Matters on which the Council has recently issued recommendations are:
- Minimum sentences;
- Suspects refusing to cooperate in psychological evaluations for the purpose of imposing a hospital order;
- Adolescent criminal law.
Each year, the Council draws up a work programme on the basis of suggestions made by people from both within and outside of the Council.
In preparation of its recommendations, the Council
- uses scientific research and national and international literature;
- analyses the views in the field and in the social debate;
- pays working visits to prisons, custodial clinics, young offenders’ institutions, secure youth care centres and the probation and aftercare service.
Administration of Justice
As a Court of Appeal, the Council reviews decisions made regarding persons serving a prison sentence or custodial measure: prisoners, offenders under a hospital order and juveniles in young offenders’ institutions and secure youth care centres. The judgments given by the Council are binding: there are no further possibilities of appeal. In addition to decisions made by the Director of a penal institution, the Council may also be asked to give judgment on the medical treatment given by the institution’s doctor or on the decisions made by the Selection Officer or the Minister of Security and Justice. Cases in which the Council is asked for a judgment are for example:
- Placement and transfer;
- Disciplinary punishments and measures;
- Medication prescribed by the institution’s doctor;
- Refusal to grant leave.
The Council also gives advice to the Minister of Security and Justice in objection proceedings in which prospective adoptive parents are refused the ‘permission in principle’ for intercountry adoption. The Minister makes a decision on the objection after receiving the advice from the Council.
Mission Statement of the Council
The Council for the Administration of Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles sees to it that the government enforces sanctions in a legally correct manner and in accordance with principles of proper treatment of individuals.