The bill entitled “Experts in criminal cases” (Wet deskundigen in strafzaken, adopted on 3 February 2009) sets requirements for reliability and competence of court-appointed experts. The bill also improves the position of the suspect. Suspects have now been granted the explicit right to demand a counter-inquiry. Furthermore, the examining judge has been granted powers outside the scope of the preliminary inquiry, as a result of which the position of the supervisory judge has been strengthened.
A special task force is currently working on the creation of an independent public register for court-appointed experts. This task force prepared a draft decree, which describes how this register should be created. This draft decree contains the requirements experts will have to meet in order to be considered for registration. Part of the draft decree is a Code of Ethics, which provides rules with respect to independence, impartiality, requirements of due care and integrity. Courtappointed experts will only be admitted to the register if they sign the Code of Ethics. The register is expected to become operational in the course of 2009.