Last week, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, adopted a bill which proposes to lift the ban on criminal liability of the state. The acceptance of this bill, which still needs to be approved by the upper house, amounts to nothing less than a fundamental change in the General Part of the Dutch Penal Code. The bill ends a legal and political debate that has lasted for several decades.
The question is whether the acceptance of this bill will lead to the conviction of the state for committing criminal offences. The author, Jeroen ten Voorde (Associate professor of criminal law and criminal procedure) is inclined to answer this question with a no, for three reasons.