On 1 July 2011, an EU Framework Decision on the mutual recognition of EU court decisions rendered in the absence of the person(s) concerned was implemented in the Netherlands. This led to amendments to the Surrender of Persons Act (Overleveringswet), the Act on the Mutual Recognition and Enforcement of Criminal Sanctions (Wet wederzijdse erkenning en tenuitvoerlegging strafrechtelijke sancties) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (Wetboek van Strafvordering).

The underlying principle of the EU Framework Decision is that recognition of EU court decisions may be refused if the person concerned was absent during the trial that led to the decision. The Framework Decision subsequently specifies the conditions under which recognition and enforcement should not be refused:

  • the person concerned was summoned in person
  • the defence was conducted by a duly instructed legal counsel
  • the person was made aware of the judgment and the right to a retrial or appeal